Today I helped Daughter get into her warm clothes to go to the local arboretum and see the wonderfully carved pumpkins on display. As she was getting ready to walk out into the chilly night air with her friend’s family, I did the usual Mom things. I made sure she would be warm enough. I made sure she had a few dollars in her pocket. I reminded her of her manners. I reviewed a little emergency protocol. Then, with my nine year old child, I reminded her to just steer clear of talking about politics.
I’m a person who is prone to anxiety as it is, and our current political situation has my stomach in knots. I have been anxious, nauseous, frustrated, and angry in a sort of perpetual loop lately. I kept wondering what I would do about people I know voting “badly” or posting things about the “wrong” candidate. How would I conquer this problem?
Then I realized I am part of the problem.
A while back I said I was going to keep my mouth shut about election season on social media. And then the debates happened and I just couldn’t. At least, that’s what I told myself. “Couldn’t.” I started posting things that were very political. Of course, I have every right to do this as does every other person. (Thanks, founding fathers.)
The problem is that I’ve been developing negative feelings for friends, acquaintances, people I care about, because of what they’re writing or saying or posting or liking. I get frustrated with anyone saying that I should vote for a third party candidate or write in candidate. I’ve been feeling quite irrational.
And I can’t stop checking up on it all. I read the news constantly. I check Facebook all the time. I read all of it. I listen to the tapes, I read articles from both sides. I read the comments and become enraged. I comment myself. I argue with strangers.
The thing is, I just can’t anymore. I’m trying to decide if I should take a month off of Facebook or not. Not sure yet. For now, my solution is to breathe deeply, to “be” calm and assured in my decision. I’m trying really hard to remember “no mud, no lotus,” but I’ve decided I can’t be the mud anymore.