Accept What Is. Then Take Action.

I’ll admit it – I was thrown for a loop with the election results. I know I’m not the only one. It was interesting to observe how I reacted: First, I felt it very personally and wanted to shut down, hide under the covers, and never come out again. Next, I gradually peeked my head out into the world, to see how others were doing. Seeing that I was not alone was actually quite comforting. And then gradually, I saw nuggets of wisdom starting to float about, and determination, and inspiration. And now I’m back.

This process is not political in nature. It just so happened that a political event caused it. And what I learned from it is that the healing begins with the acceptance. And then its time to take action.

There is a lovely poem, known as “The Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Niebuhr, that goes

It starts with acceptance. Acceptance is acknowledgement of what is. It is not condoning it or even liking it. But is not denying it, or refusing to admit it’s reality. It is not giving into the fear, or living in the past or the future. It is feet firmly planted in the here and now, eyes wide open, taking in the new reality.

I read a lovely story recently of a man who, while standing in line at the grocery store, heard the man behind him in line loudly make crude, offensive and demeaning comments about women on the cover of a magazine on the store’s rack. The first man was shocked and offended, and looked around to see if anyone else was feeling the same. He noticed all his fellow shoppers had averted their gaze, eyes cast downward. And then he knew he must take action. He first called out to his fellow shoppers to raise their eyes, because what he was about to do was very scary and he needed their support. And then he confronted the offending man, telling him how his words were crude and offensive and telling him it was NOT ok to talk about women in that way. When the man, rightfully shocked, tried to answer, the first man stood his ground. Eventually people starting clapping to support the man who took action. The shoppers now were all looking up and the offending man was looking down.

Accept what is. And then take action. Know what you stand for, know what is right for you and others. And then stand up. Rise up. Lift your eyes. Lift your voice.

The whole world is watching…