I received a text message from a friend celebrating the results of the 2020 election.
The text included a video of a man being thrown out of the front of a building against his will. The President’s face was superimposed on the man, and he had an expression of shock as he lay on the ground outside of the building.
Did it make me laugh? Of course it did. A video like that is funny regardless of what side of the political landscape you’re on.
I then checked Facebook and saw a post from a friend who suggested the country is going to hell in a handbasket given the results of the election.
Her post communicated anger, frustration, and indignation with the results.
I have one friend who is happy, joyful, and jubilant given the results of this election.
I have another friend who is angry, resentful, and frustrated given the same result.
The answer is, both of them are right.
The friend who sent the text of the President unceremoniously tossed out of an office is right given HIS belief system.
The friend who shared her anger and doomsday prophecy on Facebook is right given HER belief system.
I’ve written quite a bit about objective and subjective reality, and when it comes to “who’s right” in a case between liberals and conservatives, it is 100% SUBJECTIVE.
There is so much to be learned given such an emotionally charged Presidential election, and my hope is to communicate those learnings in a way that everyone can prosper; Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Non-Partisan Voters, etc.
Rather than calling them lessons, I’ll call them opportunities, since you can choose to recognize the opportunity or push it to the side.
Here are 4 opportunities for growth following the 2020 Presidential Election.
1. Tap Into Your Empathy
Some have been hurting over the last 4 years.
Other are hurting right now.
If you’ve been hurting over the last 4 years…
It does little good to gloat and belittle the other side for their loss.
At the most human level, remember that empathizing with another person hurting is the greatest gift of grace you could offer.
Let go of the reasons they’re hurting and realize that this pain is something you’ve also felt in the past. You know what that feels like since the pain they’re feeling is exactly the same pain you’ve felt.
Relishing your victory in a way that puts the other side down only inflates your ego and creates more division.
If you’re hurting right now…
It does little good to lash out and express resentment to the other side.
At the most human level, remember that others have been hurting for the last 4 years, and empathy is the greatest gift of grace you could offer.
Let go of the reasons why they were hurting and realize that this pain you’re feeling is the same pain they felt in the past. Their expression of joy in the result is a perceived relief of that pain, and you know what that feels like since in the past you’ve experienced exactly the same relief.
Playing the victim in your loss only inflates your ego and creates more division.
No matter where you stand on this election, you have an opportunity right now to practice empathy.
Feel what it must be like to be on the other side of this.
2. Recognize Ego
If who you voted for won, you may feel an inflated sense of ego.
If who you voted for lost, you may feel as though your ego is under attack.
Either way, you have an opportunity to recognize this.
Throughout life, wins and losses are opportunities to see the ego in you being inflated, getting defensive, seeking pleasure, or avoiding pain.
Read that sentence again.
These are OPPORTUNITIES to recognize ego.
Don’t lose out on those opportunities so you can detach from ego.
3. Be Aware of Your Filters
How do we get our news nowadays?
We go on social media.
If you read a post that validates your existing beliefs in regards to the election, notice how it makes you feel. Recognize the story you’re telling yourself. Realize the FILTER that the content is going through that causes this reaction.
If you read a comment that opposes your belief, notice that too! How does it make you feel? What is the narrative in your mind? Here too is an opportunity to see the filter through which the comment is going through that leads to THIS reaction.
The more you’re aware of your filter, the more you experience objective reality versus a subjective reality filtered through your conditioning and beliefs.
There isn’t anything that you have to do but simply observe. Watch yourself. Be aware of your filters.
4. Let Go
If I could sum up what it takes to be content, fulfilled, and peaceful into two words, I would say “Letting Go”.
We have an amazing opportunity following this election to let go.
We can let go of the resentment we may have had for the other party.
We can let go of the resistance that causes us unnecessary distress.
We can let go of the anger we’ve held on to for so long.
We can let go of the attachment we had to the result.
We can let go of attempting to control what is outside of our control.
We can let go of divisive and fear-based rhetoric that pulls us apart.
Regardless of which party you voted for, you have the same goal as everyone else on this planet. That is to be fulfilled, peaceful, and content in your life.
You want this for yourself. Your perceived opponents want this for themselves also.
You want this for your loved ones. Your perceived opponents want this for their loved ones as well.
Please, don’t forget this.
Let this, along with the opportunities mentioned in this article, be what drives you to act from a place of compassion and kindness.