TC328: What Now? Accepting “What Is” and Turning Anger into Compassionate, Meaningful Action
In this timely episode of the Transformation Cafe podcast, host Robin Masiewicz and co-host Amy Frost welcome Mikki Wade, a grief recovery specialist and life coach. This show was recorded on November 8 – Election Night in the U.S.
Amy observes that whatever happens with the U.S. election, nearly 50% of the population is going to be unhappy. The night of the election as people began to realize the outcome, some people were happy and excited, and others were shocked and depressed. The only thing that is certain is that the future is uncertain. Change is hard, and even positive change can cause uneasiness and anxiety.
Since the election there has been protests in major U.S. cities: Los Angeles; New Haven, Connecticut; Orlando; Chicago; Boston; Asheville, North Carolina; Nashville; and Columbus, Ohio, and there were marches at schools in Denver and Omaha, Nebraska. Groups across the country are angry about policies Trump has promised to enforce concerning immigration, the environment, LGBT rights and other issues.
Some people are trying to stay positive and keep an open mind, where others are struggling to cope with the new reality. It is perfectly natural to feel sad, depressed, angry, fearful, and a host of other emotions. These are all symptoms of grief, and now about half of the country is experiencing some form of it.
Dealing with Post-Election Anxiety
Cosmopolitan magazine has a great article called 14 Effective Ways to Deal with Post-Election Anxiety. “Feeling out of control can cause symptoms of fear, depression, and anxiety,” says Dr. Jennifer Caudle, DO, family physician, assistant professor at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, who’s counseled scores of patients suffering from stress and anxiety.
The transitional period between administrations only worsens the situation. “Uncertainty almost always increases anxiety, so it’s totally normal to feel anxious after an election,” says Dr. Chloe Carmichael, PhD, a Manhattan-based psychologist. “Even if you’re pleased with the chosen candidate, you still don’t know exactly what life will be like with the changes ahead.”
Another good article from PositivelyPresent.com includes a section on 4 Ways to Accept What Is (Even When It’s Sad).
Amy recommends reading “A Force for Good: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World” by Daniel Goleman.
“Far from being a self-help book, this examines specific ideas espoused by the Dalai Lama, such as emotional hygiene, compassionate economy, and education of the heart that can make the world a better place. An optimistic and thoughtful primer with practical applications.”—Booklist
Maybe so, Maybe not. We’ll see.
There is a Chinese Proverb that goes something like this…
A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors exclaimed, “Your horse ran away, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”
A few days later, the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out, “Your horse has returned, and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”
Later that week, the farmer’s son was trying to break one of the mares and she threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried, “Your son broke his leg, what terrible luck!” The farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”
A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied boys for the army. They did not take the farmer’s son, still recovering from his injury. Friends shouted, “Your boy is spared, what tremendous luck!” To which the farmer replied, “Maybe so, maybe not. We’ll see.”
The moral of this story, is, of course, that no event, in and of itself, can truly be judged as good or bad, lucky or unlucky, fortunate or unfortunate, but that only time will tell the whole story. Additionally, no one really lives long enough to find out the ‘whole story,’ so it could be considered a great waste of time to judge minor inconveniences as misfortunes or to invest tons of energy into things that look outstanding on the surface, but may not pay off in the end.
The wiser thing, then, is to live life in moderation, keeping as even a temperament as possible, taking all things in stride, whether they originally appear to be ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ Life is much more comfortable and comforting if we merely accept what we’re given and make the best of our life circumstances. Rather than always having to pass judgement on things and declare them as good or bad, it would be better to just sit back and say, “It will be interesting to see what happens.”
About Mikki Wade
Mikki Wade is the founder and CEO of True Reality, Inc., an inspirational speaker, life coach and author. Born in Central Africa, Mikki’s childhood was not an easy one. Like many, his family was a dysfunctional one and as a result he didn’t have a good relationship with his father. His mother, however, meant the world to him. When Mikki was 12, his father moved him and his siblings back to America where he was originally from. Mikki’s mother, however, stayed behind. She died the following year and, living miles away, Mikki never got to say goodbye.
Today, Mikki measures his success by balance; balanced Finances, Relationships, Emotions, Spirituality and Health (F.R.E.S.H.). Mikki desires to share how others can be balanced too through his workshops and and through the Grief Recovery Method® classes he facilitates.