Lists of Essential and Inspiring Matters, Uncategorized, What is Just?, Working With Painful Emotions

Ten Things to Remember When You are Anxious about Politics

If you are anything like me, voting and politics makes you anxious sometimes. If so, you may be feeling worried, nervous, and anxious today about how the elections will turn out.

If you are feeling this way today, here are ten helpful things You (and me, too!) can remember about politics today and always.

One: Humanity: We are not primarily liberals, conservatives, independents, etc. We are all human beings. We can always choose to see the humanity in each of us, and whenever we do this, we make the world a better place.

Two: Commonality: We all want the same things—love, safety, meaning—we just often disagree how to go about getting these good gifts. We can find a creative way to search for these good things together in a loving way. Remembering this always provides a way forward.

Three: Bridges: It is true that there are violent, virulently racist, cruelly ignorant people out there. But there are twice as many people seeking truth, common ground, and way forward, even with those they disagree with politically. Be aware of the first kind of person but focus on the second. That’s how we build bridges.

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Four: Nurturing: Our most important political act is, first, treating ourselves with kindness, compassion, and respect and then, second, doing the same to others. This is how we build a loving nation.

Five: Practical Hope: Feelings of hopelessness are understandable, but we can act with practical hope (even when we don’t feel hope) by focusing on the next, small, loving step in the right direction.

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Six: New Course: There are people who want to fill politics with rage, fear, hate, and divisiveness. When we choose to do politics with trust, practical hope, kindness, and connection, we diffuse this negative power and chart a new course.

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Seven: One Thing: You are not responsible to solve all our political problems. Neither am I. Consider focusing on one area that you feel passionate about and taking consistent, positive steps towards making a difference in that area.

For instance, one of my primary areas of concern is human rights for immigrants and refugees. I am currently researching to write future blog posts and articles about this issue. Also, I sometimes donate money to various causes dealing with immigrant and refugee rights, and I sometimes write my representatives about these matters as well.

Eight: Breathe: When we breathe deeply and consistently we create space for creativity, compassion, wisdom, and love to emerge.

Nine: Trust: I can’t tell you that bad things will never happen in politics. What I can tell you is that whenever you need to respond to something, you will always have the wisdom you need to respond with wisdom and grace, if you ask for it. This wisdom is always waiting inside you, waiting to help and comfort you. You can trust it.*

Ten: Presence: You are not alone. You don’t have to figure this out all by yourself. There is something bigger than us reaching out to us with love and creative solutions. We can always reach back, and when we do, we can find comfort and rest.*

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Peace to you, Friend.

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*If you are not religious you can think of this wisdom and bigger thing as something I call Love Mind, which is the best spiritual elements of humanity like love, kindness, hope, creativity, wisdom, etc. seeking to join with the same elements in others. This catalyzes positive personal and social change. If you are religious, you can think of it as the light of God in you which is what you are at your core. It is what is most real about you.

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12 thoughts on “Ten Things to Remember When You are Anxious about Politics”

  1. Shelly, where do you get your wisdom? It is a gift to be able to write this sort of post so succinctly and clearly. You sensed my growing anxiety, and I am across the pond, so I can’t imagine how nail-biting this is for US citizens.
    I like this focus on ‘what I can do right here right now’. It is reassuring to have this choice and sense of competency and contribution. Love the ‘love mind’. My very wise and very compassionate mum summed up religion as the belief in love; how you get to believe in love is not really important. It is just a relief to feel it, and feel others feeling it.

    1. Ali: This is so, so nice! I love your comments. I am so glad you find my wisdom helpful. I guess it is a lot of years of reading and thinking and writing. I am so pleased if it strikes other folks as wisdom. I am sorry you are feeling anxious today. I am, too, a bit. And I am so glad you liked Love Mind. I love thinking about Love Mind. And your Mum is right. However we get to believe in Love is groovy. Peace, Friend. We are going to make it.

  2. “…Be aware of the first kind of person but focus on the second. That’s how we build bridges.” This was my favorite point in this article (although all were excellent and filled with wisdom!) I think it’s so easy to only focus on the bad these days – listening to the news too much makes me feel like there’s no good people left at all! But there absolutely is. There is way more good than bad out there. We need to remember to focus on that.

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