Yes, I am tired of this election too.
After a year of accusations, threats, mud-slinging, and social media bickering, I've been asking myself if there is a spiritual lesson from 2016 that can help us grow moving forward.
One of the basic principles of the wisdom traditions that I incorporate into the foundation of my coaching work is that whatever we are experiencing in the outside world is simply a reflection of what is happening with us internally.
Some clients come to me and complain that their partner doesn't respect them, but as we dig deeper we can begin to see that the root of the problem is that the client is not respecting themselves.
I recently worked with a client who was upset with her daughter for trying to control how often she could visit her grandkids. As we went deeper, we learned that the daughter she thought was a "control freak" was really triggering an unhealed part of herself that felt out of control after being abused as a child.
For most of us, blame is an easy tool to divert focus from feeling negative emotions and accepting responsibility to change our situation. If I can be sure YOU are the problem, then I don't have to focus on fixing myself.
So as I read a Facebook post last night that read "If you are voting for ______________, it tells me everything I need to know about what kind of person you are," I had a revelation.
During an election cycle where people have moved beyond passion in favor of anger and fanaticism, how can we look inward and use this as a catalyst to gain better understanding of ourselves?
For instance, if you believe that "Candidate A" is dishonest and doesn't deserve the Presidency, can you go within and see what the real trigger is?
Is there a relationship in your life where you haven't been totally honest with someone? Is there someone in your life with whom you need to speak your truth? Worse yet, have you been dishonest with yourself? Have you convinced yourself to settle in a job or relationship that you know isn't serving you? Have you been putting off your dreams to make sure others are happy?
Today is a good day to ask the question.
Meanwhile, if "Candidate B" is unacceptable to you because of the way they treat people different than them, is that also a reason to look within?
It doesn't mean that you are a racist or bigot. But is there a strained family relationship where you have been blaming someone and not coming from a place of love? Or more recently, have you spoken badly of someone because their political views differ from yours? Have you been more focused on being right than finding understanding?
I will be honest. I didn't like the answers to the last two questions when I asked them to myself.
Yet, we must be radically honest if we want to heal our lives. As we heal ourselves, we can heal our home. As we heal our home, we can heal our community. As we heal our community, we can heal the world.
In a matter of hours, the votes will be cast and a new President will be elected. No matter the results, half of the country will be angry. Our job will be to find a way to unite and heal.
The best way to begin? Electing yourself as the sole leader and creator of your happiness.
Get out and vote tomorrow, friends!