So folks, we now have a new president elect of the good old U. S. of A and lots of people (myself included) aren’t all that thrilled about it. But what was especially surprising to me was how impactful the results were to some people. I am seeing a lot of really emotional responses (and throwing a few into the atmosphere myself) to the election. All over my various social media timelines were people whose feelings ranged from disappointment, to anger, to hopelessness, to fear, to complete and utter depression. I understand those feelings, so I hope that you understand me when I say that we must not let our emotions get the best of us. We must transform those emotions and that passion we feel into fuel to continue whatever missions we’re on in life.
*in my Iyanla voice* Oh beloveds! I know how difficult this is to process. I know it feels like a giant setback to progress that began 8 years ago. But try to process those emotions quickly and definitely don’t allow who sits in the Oval Office to determine your destiny. Yes, the President and government have a lot of power, but ultimately, you are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul (I taught my students Invictus the other week; it’s still lodged in my brain!). You may be feeling like the progress you or your community made was all for nothing, and you were set back 1000 years. But it is only that way if you let it be.
You see, setbacks and disappointments are often doorways to life’s biggest opportunities. When you don’t get what you want the first time around, you find alternative methods, you become flexible and more creative with problem solving. You find other means to your end. You become more self-sufficient and you also find and bond with those who are meant to be a part of your tribe.
My Uncle, Chief Monroe Smith, always said that when he was told he couldn’t have or do something when he was the fire chief of Compton, that he had the same response: “Don’t tell me what the fuck I can’t do! Tell me what you’re going to do to help me get what I want!” Ah, spoken like a true Smith. We’re a feisty bunch. But we get shit done.
I’m definitely feeling every bit my uncle’s niece right now. Don’t tell me what I’m going to lose or how I’m going to hurt or suffer because of the regime change. Don’t you dare put that evil on me Ricky Bobby! Speak life over my life, not doom and gloom! Tell me what you can do, what we can do to make things better.
Do you truly want change, or just to wallow in unhappiness and dissatisfaction? If you aren’t happy with something, you can either complain, or you can mobilize and continue fighting to make a difference. I think that the latter option is the better one.
Life isn’t over today, regardless of who won, not if you’re reading this. So if you’re alive, commit to making a difference in the ways that you can and connect with people who can help you. Don’t give up fighting for justice (or peace-ing for justice), don’t give up hope, don’t give up on life or on love.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
What are you waiting for?
Do something wonderful and don’t let anyone stop you!