What to Do When the Election Breaks Your Heart

I have posted nothing political thus far. Not one thing.

Primarily this is because there is so much divisive material out there already that I just don’t feel the need to get in there and add to it.

However, it’s election day. And my heart is so heavy with love for my country today.

Being able to vote is something that is paid for at a high price to this very day, and it is something that I am so honored to be a part of.

The reality is that this election season has left us with two candidates that many don’t like. Many people head to the polls today to vote for who they feel is the lesser of two evils or to cast a protest vote while others choose to stay home because of the choice we have in candidates.

So many of those who are voting today are passionate about their vote. They aren’t necessarily passionate about the “who” on the ticket, but they are more passionate about the stark contrast in the platform, agendas, and proposed direction that each candidate wants to take the America that we live in.

It is because of the passion that people feel toward this election that my heart is heavy.

This is the kind of passion that has ended friendships and relationships with family members.

It’s the kind of passion that has taken the filter that most have and tossed it out the window.

And, this is the kind of passion that has brought out the absolute worst in people to the likes of which I have never seen before in my lifetime.

The reality of the situation is this. Theoretically in the not too distant future there will be a large group of people who will be elated at the results of the presidential election while there will also be a large group of people who will be devastated by the choice.

The question becomes, if you find yourself in the devastated camp, how do you move forward?

Maybe you have found yourself wondering this in elections past. I know I have. More now than ever before, I feel the need to speak to what I feel so strongly in my heart.

In my opinion, here’s what to do when the election breaks your heart.

election

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Realize that you must fight harder

If there is one “upside” to this whole gnashing of teeth this election cycle it has been that people are getting out there and fighting for what they feel passionately about. This is a good thing, and it is something that we as a country have been lazy with in years past. If the election breaks your heart, get out there and fight harder.

Define yourself more clearly

Who are you? What do you hold dear? What really matters to you? These are all questions that we have avoided asking ourselves, but knowing the answers to these kinds of questions helps lead you in how to vote the next time any kind of election rolls around. Who are you? It’s time to figure that out.

Live smarter

Will life be a struggle for you in the wake of the election? Then live smarter. Figure out how to best deal with the hand you’re dealt and do it. We’ve all had things to overcome in our lives. We’ve all faced adversity. A heart-breaking election is no different. Put on your big-girl panties (at least in my case) and figure out how to live smarter in whatever way you can.

Stand taller

No matter what outcome the election brings, if you are an American you still live in the greatest country on earth. Be willing to get in the ring and fight for it, but in the everyday mundane realities of life, stand taller. When you do, you don’t fall down quite so easily.

Love more deeply

Want to make a difference in the next election? If there’s one thing we’ve learned this time around I hope it’s that insults, harsh words, and criticism accomplish nothing. As a Christian I am called to speak the truth in love. If you are a Christian, you are too. Let’s do a better job at that. Starting today.

Spread compassion and empathy more fully

Do you really know why the other side voted the way they did? You might think you do, but maybe you don’t. Knowing more about the “other side” only helps build bridges. And it is only with bridges built that you can reach the others who are over there. Spreading compassion and empathy rather than hate will do so much more to open the hearts and minds of those you hope to influence. And really, can’t the world really use a bit more compassion and empathy in the wake of this election cycle? I think so.

Teach your children with more passion

Think of all the “children” who will be voting in the next presidential election cycle. I will have two voting kids in the next presidential election. It is our job as parents to educate our children. We should not be leaving this up to others. If we want to move forward toward different results in the next election cycle then we need to do that by educating our children. Our kids need to know how to define themselves and the things they believe in and be willing to take a stand for those things. They will only do that if we as their parents teach them to do so.

Hold on to hope

Hope is always there. I have experienced some truly dark days as I’m sure you have too. I have learned that hope is always there. Grab on to it and fight for it to the death.

Are you struggling with the results of the presidential election? Then here’s what you need to do with your broken heart.

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