Surrendering to Election 2016: Let’s Move On!


Election 2016 is nearly in the books. Nervous anticipation hangs everywhere; the words, “I’ll be so glad when it’s over,” are exchanged again and again in coffee shops, at train stops and every other locale where two or more are gathered.

Throw in a stewed  mess of negative campaigning (what an understatement!) that stirs people into an emotional frenzy and I’m beginning to believe that our next president will need a divine intervention to repair the damage done to the collective American psyche.

My Australian friend Patricia says watching the American presidential campaign is like watching the best reality TV ever!

Too, too much!

I find the entire spectacle childish and sad. There’s a downside to living in a time when our culture is seemingly controlled by social media. Don’t get me wrong, I love the connectivity and potential for good that social media affords us, not to mention that I make my living working with social media platforms.

But for months, every sound bite and pictorial moment among the political candidates has become embedded in the global Twitter feed and therefore deemed newsworthy. My journalist’s heart weeps.

In Texas, we can choose to cast an early ballot so last Wednesday I approached the polling booth, not with excitement as I usually do, but with trepidation. I did not want to vote for either candidate. I felt a surge of resentment just as the polling judge announced, “We have a first-time voter!”

The young woman looked so eager and fresh-faced as she waved to the room.

“Bless her heart,” I thought to myself. What an awful, worn out election to be casting her first presidential vote.

Then I found myself wondering who is blessing the nation’s heart.

A Sunday surrender

At church yesterday, I got the reminder I needed of who is blessing us all. As dark as our nation’s time seems right now, God–insert your name for the Divine–always offers light. The beauty of humanhood is we get to choose to walk in the light and to send the shadows away beyond our hula hoop.

With light comes hope and who among us doesn’t want to carry that torch? I was also reminded during Sunday service at Cathedral of Hope, United Church of Christ, that choosing to bear the light of hope is carrying the mission of countless other masters of hope and peace who came before us. Certainly Jesus, but also the Buddha, Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King, Jr. were saints in that they lived and walked in light and love.

We would do well to emulate them. And we do.

You are an everyday saint when you speak words of hope to another and each time you encourage inclusivity instead of division. You are an everyday saint each time to listen thoughtfully without judgment or derision. You are an everyday saint when you see the world with eyes of compassion and when you touch someone else with your peace.

The votes that we cast in this presidential election are crucial–I’m praying for a future filled with optimism and goodwill among those who win their chosen offices.

But we have a higher calling. May you be blessed with an abundance of hope, love and peace this week, and in your blessing, pay it forward.

Photo courtesy of Morguefile:maryhere

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  1. Galen Pearl says:

    As Adyashanti says, surrender is the name of the spiritual game. Perfect post for today! Also, my youngest daughter went to an elementary school run by a church that called its members “light bearers.” I always loved that.

    I read your post several times. Really lovely and a message that I hope reaches many people today who will take it to heart. Your post blesses all your readers’ hearts today!

    • Beth says:

      Dearest Galen, your words mean so much to me! Light bearers . . . oh, how that makes me smile!

      I’ve really wrestled with so many things during this election cycle, one being assumptions we make about the people in our lives. For example, some of my friends and acquaintances assume I’ll vote for HRC because she’s a woman, because she supports LGBTQ rights, etc. But it’s not quite that simple, nor should it be. And I refuse to be put into a box loaded with assumptions!

      Please continue to remind me to surrender!!

      • Barbara D says:

        Yes it is that simple: a candidate that believes in human rights versus one that will grab a woman’s p—y. Beth, you and Becky have so much passion about recovery and I admire you both but this election is so important for all of us. It’s important that we have passion not surrender about the election.

        • Beth says:

          Barb, I do not disagree with you that the election is important but, respectively, you may have missed my point.

          When I say surrender, I’m talking about letting go of the crazy vitriol that has plagued the presidential campaigning practically from the moment it started, letting go of the incessant shouting and jockeying to be heard.

          It’s clear that respect, honor and decency have no place in American politics anymore–that is what finds me sad.

          I try hard not to use this blog to discuss my political preferences. Some might disagree and say I should shout feminism from the rooftops; maybe they’re right. But for now at least, I’d rather stick to what I know works–and for me, that is letting go of things I can’t control.

          Sure hope all is well for you in that beautiful state of Oregon!

          Hugs to you!

  2. Steve C. says:

    Another spot on blog, Ms. Beth. Looking froward to watching the returns tomorrow night and to finally gave the bloody thing be over! My best to the other B.

    • Beth says:

      What would I do without you, my dear friend? Unlike you, the other B and I are going to catch up on our Tivo-d shows tomorrow night rather than watching the returns! My sanity will stay intact!

      Hugs to you and your fabulous wife!

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