Monday, November 14, 2016

Hold Love

I voted for Jill Stein.

I walked into and out of my polling center knowing that my candidate would not win the election. And I was okay with that. I walked out of there knowing that Clinton or Trump would be my next president. And I would be okay with that.

I was okay with that in spite of some Clinton supporters, sneering at me, speaking to me with derision and in condescending tones as if I were an idiot.

I was okay with that in spite of some Clinton supporters proclaiming that I was betraying my gender if I didn’t vote for her.

I was okay with that in spite of some Trump supporters pleading that we had to stop Clinton at all costs, even if it meant Trump would be president.

I was okay with my decision because I voted for the most trustworthy candidate that spoke closest to my concerns, as a person AND as a citizen of this great country.

For the first time in my voting life, I refused to play to my ego-fears by voting for “the lesser of two evils.” I refused to play into the societal droning of “3rd party vote is a wasted vote.” I refused to be anything other than true to me.

And you know what? It felt damned good.


Before the election was even over, the comments from Clinton supporters were rough. Many pointed the finger directly at 3rd party voters like me. It was MY fault that their candidate was losing (the irony: before the election, Trump voters indicated it would be my fault if Clinton won).

You know what? Not a single Trump supported has thanked me for helping their candidate win. ;-)

So when Trump won, I began looking for ways to wrap my mind around how. Seriously, I thought Clinton would win. While I was looking, my Clinton supporting friends began screaming and crying about how we live in such a racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic country. They started calling people I know and love by such names, but do you know what they didn’t do? They didn’t find a Trump supporter that they personally know and ask them why. I did. I was enlightened. Some of the things I read also enlightened me.

So I shared some of these various views. I even had the audacity to post something that indicated I would like to see Trump be a good president. I was further attacked by Clinton supporters. How dare I hope he is a good president? Do I not remember when others wished ill-will on Obama when he was elected? How dare I stand up and call people out who claim they’re feminists but then bash Melania for posing nude? Do I not remember how many people trash-talked Michelle? How dare I pray that Trump actually fulfills his 4 year term because I prefer the devil I don’t know (he’s never held political office before) over the one I do (I’ve seen Pence’s record in Indiana and strongly feel he would be horrifying for the people of the U.S.)?

And then I post something that I find funny about sending PP donations in Pence’s name. Would it be rude to do that?  Yeah, actually, it would because he’s SO anti-PP. One of my friends pointed out that they wouldn’t want to give Pence the tax write-off. Touche.

I was then accused of posting “we’re better than the haters who voted for Trump” stuff. Not a SINGLE thing I have posted throughout this ENTIRE election season has indicated that I feel that way. But for a brief time, that made me feel like a hypocrite.

I am not a hypocrite. I have never sat in judgment of my friends and loved ones, thinking that I am any better than they are.

I am not a hypocrite. I have never called a Trump supporter or a Hillary supporter a name. I shake my head with sadness every time I see someone post about Trump or Hillary with nasty nicknames for them.

But I am me.

I believe the only way to maintain the greatness of America is for us to listen to each other. Listen to hear. Don’t listen to respond. I will fully admit that I have a difficult time listening to anyone that uses name-calling of any sort in their dialogue. Name-calling indicates a mind made up. I can’t have a discussion with you that enlightens both of us if you’re stuck on name-calling or generalizations. Are some of the people who voted for Trump racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic? Yes, I think that is obvious. Are they all? No, absolutely not. And when you cut off all contact with someone that you love because they voted for someone you dislike (Trump or Clinton) without talking to them, you’re saying that you think you’re better than them and their opinion doesn’t matter. Their thoughts don’t matter.

This country was not built on “my way or the highway” ideology. It’s called a melting pot for a reason. We all have different thoughts and different ideas. Shouldn’t we respect each other enough to listen to each other?

On that note, all the Clinton supporters who are justifying the protests that have turned into riots by using the “well, they did it when Obama was elected” excuse, I ask: are we in grade school? Do you really feel justified using the “they started it” excuse? If you want a better world, is that how you go about it? And how often did that work for you in grade school?

Further, there have been a lot of racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic hate crimes that are coming to light. Some of the perpetrators are doing those things in Trump’s name. But keep in mind, those people were racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic before Trump ran for President. Do they feel emboldened now? Yes, they do. They are committing hate crimes, though. Do you realize what that means? Get them on video. Get pictures of them. File police reports. Be a witness willing to testify in court. Get involved. These are hate crimes, punishable by the law. They’re not hiding in closets right now. So let’s do something about them. It seriously fucking sucks that these things are occurring, but damn, wouldn’t we rather know the enemy because they’re facing us instead of hiding in their closets? Truthfully, being able to face them, knowing who they are and praying to catch them on video (so it’s prosecutable) is the only light I see there. Those of us who aren’t racist, sexist, xenophobic or homophobic: it’s our job to help catch those things on video. It’s our job to support and protect the victims when we witness it and after we witness it.

America is flawed, but America is great. Any damn one of us who thinks we’re better than someone else because we think differently, well, those are the people who make me shake my head.

I hold hope. I hold love. This is me. I will not give in to the fear mongering. I will not call any one names because they voted differently than I did. I will not sit by while a woman is being trash-talked by hypocrites. I will not sit by while my loved ones are attacked. I will look for the light. I will look for the good. I will continue to send love and light to everyone that asks. I will love. I will be me.

I hope that you will hold love, too.

A final note for my fellow Bernie supporters who maintained the line and didn’t vote for Hillary just because she was the DNC nominee: maybe he wasn’t the nominee so that we would vote against the establishment. Food for thought.

Love and Light.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Voices over Votes

The fear surrounding the election on Tuesday has been palpable.

I am voting my conscious, and it feels good to not be choosing “between the lesser of two evils."

What little I have said about the election has been primarily trying to get people to realize they don't have to choose the lesser of two evils. It’s amazing to me that so many U.S. citizens have NO idea that there are other candidate options. And if everyone who says voting 3rd party is throwing away your vote would actually VOTE 3rd party, imagine the quiet revolution we would have.

But even with that stance, many friends and relatives have tried to bully me out of my position. Between the behavior of the Republican and Democratic candidates and some of the people who believe we must vote for one of those two, this entire election season has felt like being thrust back into school: elementary, middle or high school. Take your pick. They all had bullies.

To everyone who wants to say that I'm throwing away my vote, I say this:

If you’re voting for Trump just because you don’t want to see Clinton as president – you’re throwing away your vote.

If you’re voting for Trump because you believe we need someone who isn’t a life-long politician in office – you’re throwing away your vote (and to that I want to add…remember when Michiganders felt that way about Snyder…many of the same who are bitching and moaning about him doing a pathetic job?).

If you’re voting for Clinton just because you don’t want to see Trump as president – you’re throwing away your vote.

If you’re voting for Clinton because Sanders said to vote for her – you’re throwing away your vote. (Do you even remember when he said during his campaign that he would never tell you who to vote for…and if he did, don’t listen?)

But it gets worse: you’re throwing away your voice.

I ask you to consider what Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” truly means. Does it mean the time when white men owned black men? The time when women were considered property? The time when blacks and whites were all free but segregated? The time when blacks couldn’t vote? The time when women couldn’t vote? What point in our history do you consider “great” that isn’t “great” anymore?

Have you really considered what makes America great, my friends?

Our voices.

You say that voting 3rd party is throwing away my vote. Then so be it. But do you know what I’m NOT doing? I am not throwing away my voice.

You say that a 3rd party candidate can’t win. I disagree. If every voter who truly can’t stand the idea of Clinton or Trump as president vote 3rd party, 3rd party can win.

Do you know how many people, still today, think a woman can’t be a successful business owner? How many people think a woman can’t possibly have a clue about computers? Do you know how many people scoff at my Healing Circles?

I wouldn’t be where I am today, doing what I do, if I listened to all the bullies and naysayers trying to diminish my voice.

Don’t be a bully. And on Election Day, don’t throw away your VOICE.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Acts of Kindness

Often times, when I think of acts of kindness being performed (by myself or others), I think about acts of kindness toward strangers, not those in our own family or in our own home. So while I had limited contact with people outside of my own home yesterday, I did do things that would be considered acts of kindness within my home. 

The challenge is to do at least one act of kindness per day. Perhaps we won't succeed in doing an act of kindness to 365 different people throughout a year. But more likely, we will. Maybe part of the challenge is (really) to recognize and give ourselves credit for the vast number of kind things that we actually do. Did you make dinner for your family last night? Did you wash, dry and fold their laundry the other day? Do you go to work every day so that you can help support your family? I realize those can all be attributed to being kind to yourself. Depending on your life view, you could be thinking that those are entirely selfish and shouldn't count. But they do. And it also counts when you're kind to yourself. Stressed and in desperate need of relaxation so you take a bubble bath? Count that as a kindness toward yourself.

My challenge to you is simply this: be mindful of the acts of kindness that you perform every day. The stray you fed. The friend you lent a shoulder to. The child you bought coffee for. The dinner you cooked for your spouse. The firewood you chopped for the fire place to keep your family warm. Focus on the positive things you do. Recognize them. Even the little things. Let's stop taking those things for granted, and let's celebrate those around us for what they do. Let's celebrate ourselves for what we do. Let's focus on filling our world with gratitude.

Love and Light, my friends.