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Why I will not tell you how to respond to the election.

I sat at a table last night with 5 of my dearest friends. We cooked for each other and shared our frustration with the way the election played out. We’re all tired and motivated and cautious with one another’s hearts.

At one point I looked around and realized that while these are the people whose views align with mine the most, we all have vastly different reactions to the results and nuanced opinions as to how we should handle this moving forward. It’s a lonely time in our nation.

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It’s no longer as simple as pro-life or pro-choice. It’s not as simple as marriage equality or not. It’s more nuanced than that and among a small group of like minded individuals we can find ourselves feeling like we are only one who sees the situation like we do.

For many of us, we want to show up for everyone in the best way possible. So we listen to what people need and we take on the burden of showing up in that way. This can make it exhausting when one article tells you to wear a safety pin to show people that you are a safe space and another pops up with how wearing a safety pin makes you a terrible human being. When a close friend of color shares that they want you to show up in one way and then a Huffington Post article written by a stranger tells you to that showing up in that way is horrendous and wrong.

Our culture has taken to turning oppressed people groups into a talking point and it’s a lot easier to point fingers than to evaluate your own contribution to society.

I have had a desire to stop entertaining people with viewpoints that oppress people that I love. I’d like to institute a low tolerance policy for that behavior in my life. For me that doesn’t look like yelling racist at everyone who disagrees with me. It looks more like a questioning of their belief and an honest but kind reason for why I won’t allow that around me and then likely an elimination of that relationship. This approach may have many articles written about how it’s the wrong answer, but, this is what sits well with me and that’s all that I can do.

I will not tell you how to respond.

I will tell you how I’ve chosen to respond. It’s time for me to re-evaluate my morality and my priorities. Am I doing enough to show up for the issues and people that I know I need to show up for? Am I pointing more fingers than I am contributing to change? Am I showing up in my life with the best that I have?

That’s all that I can ask of you. If we’re lucky we will be able to have those moments of open dialogue that changes hearts. The kind that starts with listening and questioning and discussing and listening some more.

with all of my love,
Sarajane.

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