Well my friends, we somehow managed to survive last week. Barely, but we did indeed survive.
We are still here.
The sun is still rising. The world is still turning.
I want you to know that this is not a message of hope, but a message of understanding. The process of grief takes time. It cannot be rushed. You need to feel what you feel before you will be ready to move on.
If you voted for Trump, congratulations on your victory.
If you voted for Hillary, I would like to offer you some understanding of what you may have gone through this past week.
I, like many of you, spent the week feeling somewhat disoriented, like the world turned upside down. I didn’t sleep well, I watched endless hours of CNN trying to make sense of what the hell happened, I did grief coaching with my clients, and, along with many other of my fellow coaches, I participated in a call led by Master Life Coach Dixie St. John, expert in the field of Death and Dying.
It was a traumatic moment for half of the country when we realized that our candidate wasn’t going to win. Like a sudden death, we went into shock. It felt like our world was never going to be the same. Many people felt a strikingly similar parallel to how they felt when 9/11 happened. It hit us hard.This was not a typical election. It was so much more than merely voting Red or Blue.
How many of these feelings have you experienced since last Tuesday night?
How can we possibly cope with all of these feelings? Start by allowing yourself to grieve. You are probably familiar with the 5 stages of grief from The Kübler-Ross model developed in 1969.
1. Numbness/ Denial
You can’t or won’t feel anything, or you refuse to believe what is reality.
Hoping that you can get back to the way things were before the event, you try and strike a deal with a higher power.
This stage happens when you realize that you can’t get back what you lost.
When you realize that you have to give up everything that you love, wanted or was familiar to you.
Learning to live with what has happened.
Fear is pretty much pervasive through all of these stages. They do not happen in order and sometimes more than one is happening at the same time. They often come over you in waves.Resisting an emotion holds it in place. Whatever you resist, persists. These feelings don’t just happen once. They happen over and over and over again. The more contemporary view on grieving is William Worden’s Four Tasks of Mourning for those experiencing grief.
Task #1: To accept the reality of the loss.
It happened. Hillary lost. Trump won.
Task #2: To work through the pain and grief.
This means that you must feel all of your feelings. Do not try and push them away. Let me repeat, whatever you resist, persists. The only way to the other side of darkness, is through. There are no shortcuts.
Task #3: To adjust to a new environment.
We have to adjust our way of looking at things. We have to modify how we thought we were going to be living.
Task #4: To find an enduring connection with the ideals we had while moving forward with life.
What did Hillary inspire in you? Whatever it was, know that it still lives within you. You can still do something with these ideals, even though she didn’t win. The reality is, Hillary lost. You have no control over that. What you do have control over is how you are going to respond.
As you begin this week, I urge you to be kind, loving and gentle with yourself and others. Allow the process to unfold in it’s own time.
I am sending you love and support. You are going to be okay.