What is defeat? Nothing but education, nothing but the first step toward something better. Wendell Phillips
All of us deserve to experience and express our feelings regarding the presidential election, regardless of our political affiliation, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. It is natural to feel disappointed, sad, angry, fearful, grief and hurt around what we hoped and wanted to happen, but didn’t.
If Secretary Clinton had won the presidential election, I would be saying the same exact thing for Trump supporters. Coming together as a nation does not only mean supporting the presidential elect. It means supporting and allowing the feelings that everyone has, and holding the space for those feelings.
Sticking Up for Positive Expression
The protests that have been occurring in major cities, including New York, is one way of expressing and releasing feelings. It is one of the emotionally healthy ways to do so except, of course, for those who are acting out violently, which is unacceptable.
There is a movement that started pre-election in New York City by Matt Chavez. After observing the somber mood of the people in the subway under 14th Street, he encouraged others to express their feelings on post it notes and then to place these notes on the subway walls. Validating many people’s desperate need to communicate their thoughts and emotions, more than 2,000 people utilized this creative method to share their feelings in this neutral manner.
Paving Your Destination to Acceptance
The only way that people who wanted a different outcome will be able to truly accept what is, is to be allowed their feelings. This is not a new concept, or only specifically related to the election. Allowing, and accepting, the healthy expression of feelings is a necessity to continue to embrace positive growth in life. If we are struggling with an issue, and having difficulty accepting it, whether it be …
- A relationship ending
- A loss of a job
- A medical illness
- The death of a loved one
…before we are able to accept the reality, we need to go through a process. We need to feel and express our feelings. This is the pathway to the destination of acceptance. There is no specific defined time frame. It happens in each individual’s own time.
This too, is a process and cannot be rushed. During this campaign there was more complexity than any other time in history. Both candidates presented us with something new to consider and much to process. Not only was a woman running in the forefront for the first time for president from a major political party, the other was not your usual candidate, but instead a business man without political experience.
Two Sides to Every Story
This week so many of the people I work with in my psychotherapy practice talked about how they are emotionally affected by the outcome of the presidential election.
For more tips on coming to terms with the results of the election, please clink on the link below for my complete article.
My wish for you today is that you find a method to express your feelings in a positive manner so you can maintain your optimal emotional health.
-Kathleen Dwyer Blair, LCSW, BCD
Director Nassau Guidance and Counseling