My mind wants to talk about politics, but my heart is leaning towards having a passionate conversation with you. Oh, wait. That’s still politics.
Will we ever escape this climate of polarization, scandals, untruths, hidden agendas, ongoing resisting, and turning on the television without the reference to the political landscape of America? I’m afraid not.
One day while having a date night with my husband, I noticed my shoulders were as hard as bricks. I pulled out my smartphone to make a massage appointment for the next morning. There was an urgency to what I believed needed to be a day of relaxing or at the very least – relieving some stress.
The technician entered the room and asked what areas I would like her to work on. I replied, “shoulders, neck, lower back and to please apply pressure points to my scalp and face.” The moment came when I laid face up on the massage bed, ready to be put to sleep. I was hoping for the type of relaxation that causes me to snore out loud. I had every belief that I would de-stress and gain some composure after being affected by an ongoing Facebook conversation regarding the current occupant of the White House that morning. It didn’t happen. It wasn’t that the technician talked about politics, it was that the moment I felt my body going to a peaceful state – I began thinking about what more I needed to do, and how I needed to hit back at the person trying to convince me and others that we were wrong about our stance. I could feel my heart beating harder than it did before I arrived. The technician asked me to take several deep breaths. As she was having me breathe out the built-up stress, it only made room for me to breathe in that which I had suppressed – causing it to reside in the forefront of my mind. The more she massaged my shoulders and neck – the more I became tense. The technician said, “Gail, you are so used to resisting that you are working against every technique I am applying to encourage your body to relax and to release the tension.” Finally, she asked, “What is it going to take for you to let go of the outside world and take care of yourself?” I knew then that I was in trouble. I could not give her an answer.
For the next fifty minutes I tried to force myself to relax — but I failed.
Why was I so wound up? I will tell you. Because I care. Because I keep 24 hour news channels going non-stop. While I am working, I am listening to what is going on in the world. As I scroll through my social media feeds, I am reading how children are in cages – separated from their parents – flown across the country without parental consent. I am disturbed by the educational secretary who will not act against the possible approval for use of federal education funds by districts to buy guns. I lose sleep at night wondering what school will be next to experience a shooting of children before the year will have ended. And I lie awake, wondering how many lives will be taken because Congress won’t take a stand against the NRA? I cannot help but think about leaks happening in the West Wing. Let’s just pause for a moment and consider how one is able to walk into the Situation Room with a recorder. My stomach turns knowing that senior advisors have access to pertinent information with downgraded clearances. The games being played on the senate floor have become preposterous! Is there anyone on Pennsylvania Avenue who realizes there are ongoing violations that could be detrimental to our country?
I cannot seem to calm the pounding of my heart, nor slow the racing of my mind just thinking about the chaos. This is only some of what we do know. What about all that is going on that, so far, has been successfully kept quiet?
As someone who loves Twitter, I become nauseous advancing my newsfeed. What will he tweet today, I wonder? That’s why I resisted on the massage table, as I tried to get some rest and release, but ended up with knots in my abdomen.
Releasing the tension has been difficult for me. I know my health is out of balance, but I cannot give up my fight right now. It feels like there is too much at stake. I’m afraid of people sleeping through, or otherwise distracted, and therefore missing out on registering to vote before the deadline. I’m anxious when it comes to people going out to vote. I’m suspicious of absentee ballots. Will they really be counted? Is someone keeping track of who’s winning and if it’s not their person, will they alter the outcome? I know. I’m venturing into the conspiracy theorist mindset. I really try not to go there, but with times like these I cannot help myself. There is an urgency that compels me to not only do my share of due diligence, but also as a leader and entrepreneur – to encourage and compel others to do theirs.
All of this is causing great distress for me and in me. It keeps me tense. I should be able to relax – especially while getting a full body massage specifically designed for the purpose to release, let go, regroup, and then go back in to fight feeling renewed.
I am not a physician, but this I do know — there is no such thing as taking care of my body, mind, and spirit too much when I am in the fight 24-7. But I am spreading myself too thin. Something must give.
I have made a commitment to try and focus on one cause…one fight at a time. It’s tough! I have a thought — can we all commit to doing something? Can we commit to identifying our stake in this fight regardless of political affiliation? Let’s start with one platform that speaks to our hearts and develop a team of advocates. Let’s realize we cannot be an island and work together based upon the cause and not the party. Who’s with me?
Here are a few thoughts:
- Let’s be intentional by gathering three to five people – on a quarterly basis – and work towards a cause that is most passionate to your hearts.
- Let’s hold one another accountable to take time out of the fight and rest.
- Let’s use our platform and our voices to have tough but necessary conversations.
- Let’s begin to listen as much as we speak.
- Let’s share what may be working and bring resolution to those things that are broken.
- Let’s bring about an awareness of our own filters and lenses.
- Let’s break our tasks up into more manageable pieces so that we can witness the fruit of our labor.
Did you see what happened? I started out this article saying that my mind wanted to talk about politics, but my heart was leaning towards having a passionate conversation.
Oh, that’s right — what I have written is passionate, and yes, it’s also about politics. Can we ever escape from the juxtaposition of the two? I’m afraid not.
If you live in America, be sure to vote November 6.
~ This article originally appeared in
READY Publication, Fall 2018 #PoliticallySavvy
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