Hope for Those With Easily Frayed Nerves (& for Our Country)

Hope for Those With Easily Frayed Nerves (& for Our Country)

Hope for Our Country

“Hold, 
hold on, 
hold onto me…
’cause I’m a little unsteady
a little unsteady…”
X Ambassadors

As we drove to the polls on Tuesday, I was completely frazzled.

So much was on the line for our country, and I was not at my best. 

I had just spent a few long days with my little ones, running from birthday parties to house hunting, to grocery shopping, to seeing family, to the chaos of cooking and cleaning a home constantly subject to the whims of two growing toddlers.

Zero alone time in days. Two kids constantly wanting to be carried, comforted and coddled. A body that never fully healed from my second pregnancy. Tantrums, demands and messes from morning till night. 

My sensitive cells were exploding. I ached for alone time like a junkie in withdrawal. I was completely unraveling.

Tuesday morning arrives. My husband suggested we take the girls to the polls with us so they could participate in such a historical election. We were so excited by the thought that our little girls might grow up in a world where having a female president is no big deal, totally normal. A world where trying to do what’s right wins over bullying.

But my longing to be on my own was overwhelming. I expected to walk to the polls quietly, all by myself, wrapped in healing comfort of my thoughts. But I loved my husband’s vision and the beautiful memory he wanted to create, so I agreed. And he patiently held space for my unsteadiness. 

As we walked inside the polling station, there were smiling faces everywhere. It didn’t feel like a room full of division, as the race had been. It felt like a room full of unity, hope and excitement. 

And with each shining face that greeted us, my frazzled cells began to calm.  

Photo

Immediately upon our arrival a man offered to let me skip him in line, he could see how I struggled to carry my heavy toddler amongst the chaos. It was the tiniest most simple gesture, but it melted me. 

I had wanted to be invisible, but I healed far more from his small act of kindness. I was drowning, but suddenly felt seen.

“… please never stop believing that
fighting for what’s right is worth it.” Hillary Clinton

Another woman wholeheartedly chatted up my three-year-old, complimenting her fancy star studded tutu and asking her all sorts of questions. This woman was glowing with joy and spreading it free of charge. My little girl’s face beamed and blushed at such attention.
 
I had wanted to be alone, but my daughter’s face in that moment was worth every frazzled nerve. I was so grateful for this joy spreading woman, and hoped that with a little more self-care, I could soon be more like her.

“… if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences… 
our best days are still ahead of us.” HC

My husband had our daughter help pencil in his voting bubble so she could begin to learn the value of leaving her mark on the world, explaining things to her in simple carefully chosen words. Gently teaching her that no matter what the outcome of things are, she gets to have a voice. Watching him and the memory he was wise enough to create, filled my soul with awe and gratitude. 

I had wanted to walk alone, but in the uncertainty of this historical moment, we were stronger together. And while the outcome of this election may not have been what we expected, it only serves to confirm that now more than ever we must empower our hearts and the future voices of our world. 

“And to all of the little girls who are watching this,
never doubt that you are valuable and powerful
and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world
to pursue and achieve your own dreams.” HC

Photo

With each bit of love I experienced in this magical voting center, my cells relaxed, my anxiety eased and my heart opened. 

This was the ugliest, most divisive election in history. But when I went to the polls that day, there was love everywhere. 

Enough love to heal the maxed out fraying nerves of an overextended sensitive mama and to remind her that it’s okay to unravel sometimes and it’s okay to ask for help, when life gets hard.

Enough love to let others know they are seen in their struggles. 

Enough love to gleefully spread joy to others without asking for a thing in return. 

Enough love to show little girls how important it is for them to have a voice. 

Enough love to make others want to do better, be better, and spread more of the love they receive with grateful humbled hearts. 

Enough love to show that we are stronger together than we are apart. 

Enough love to prove that despite the divisions in the world, we are all one, and together we can do, heal and overcome anything. 

The power of this love lies within each of us. Every action matters. Each small gesture. Each generous smile. Each kind word.

Each reminder that though our struggles are hard and real, we can get through them. Though it may feel like we are unraveling, we can get to the other side. And along the way, we can be a light for someone else. We can be the person who offers their spot in line. Who makes someone feel seen and adored. Who patiently holds space for someone, when they feel so unsteady. 

I was reminded that day that no matter what we or this country experiences, we can choose to fight for the love within and around us. We can choose to empower ourselves with kind words and a gentle perspective. We can choose to see the miracles that surround us everyday. 

Every single day we can caste our vote to unite and heal the broken aching parts of ourselves, each other and this beautiful but vulnerable world.

If you like this post, please “like it”, share it & leave a comment. I love hearing your thoughts <3

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15 Responses to Hope for Those With Easily Frayed Nerves (& for Our Country)

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, but it’s the first time I’ve left a comment. I to am a sensitive soul and it feels so good to come here and resonate with your feelings and writings. This post was so beautiful….so helpful, thank you.

    • Liz says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment, Christian. Your words and affirmation mean the world. I’m so glad this was helpful.

    • Jamie says:

      I agree with Christian, it is a beautiful philosophy. Love is a choice. So many people don’t realize that. We so often think it is an emotion. While many wonderful feelings come with the choice of loving, sometimes love is hard and sometimes the choice to love is counter to the emotion we feel inside. We have a neighbor who is extremely angry all the time, has threatened us over leaving our front light on. As a soft soul I was hurt and angry but my mother sent her a gift and told her that God had taught my mother to love our neighbor even though we didn’t agree. Now I can’t say the neighbor became our best friend but now instead of threatening, she calls politely and asks us to turn off the light. My Mom was right. Choosing Love changed things.

      • Liz says:

        This is so beautifully put, Jamie, and that is such a wonderful story. Sometimes love really is counter to the emotion we feel inside. I’ve never thought of it like that before, but it is so true. And knowing that gave your mother the wisdom to choose love over reacting with anger to your neighbor. It’s so much easier to be reactive, but your mother knew a better way, she sounds like an amazing role model. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  2. Dear Liz:

    This post confirms something I’ve sensed about you all along. More than just an overextended sensitive mama, you are an angel of healing. Thank you for always showing us the light and the love.

    I have grief and anger in my heart over this situation but, as I wait for my balance to be restored, I’ve made a decision. More than ever, I will uphold and embody my deepest values. I choose love over fear. I choose connection, empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and unity.

    I stand with you. Let’s all gather our strength and make of ourselves a light.

    xox

    • Liz says:

      Linda,

      I am so touched, that is such a beautiful compliment. From all I’ve read of yours, you are certainly an angel of healing as well.

      I love the decision you’ve made and how you’re using this turn of events to empower your values.

      And your words are so beautiful, “let’s all gather our strength and make of ourselves a light.” YES to that.

      Thank you Linda!

  3. Sheri says:

    Thanks you for sharing your experience with us. This has certainly been an emotional few days (and election season). While I still haven’t been able to process the realities of what happened, and largely what’s going on in our country and world, it is heartening and empowering to have someone like you showing us all where north is. Thank you for your words, your openness, and your sign posts offering a direction we may want to take – and I hope more people choose to follow that path.
    Together we shall…
    Thanks again, Liz
    XO

    • Liz says:

      Thank you so much for this beautiful comment, Sheri. I think we’re all still processing the realities of what happened and wondering what will unfold over the next few years. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a kind and thoughtful comment. Together we shall…

  4. Kim Orr says:

    Your daughter has the right idea: we should always cast our votes wearing star-studded tutus.

    That is because Americans are stellar — in the ways you describe. The media likes to paint a portrait of a country divided, inflame what differences we may have because it keeps you viewing and upset which sells more advertising.

    But when we are face to face our differences dissolve in the small acts of goodwill — those small acts of being together that you experienced.

    I saw this during hurricane Katrina. What the press was reporting was completely and utterly different from the thousands of acts of kindness that were everywhere — stories that never got told by the press.

    It’s like Jaime said in the comment above — we are all neighbors. A small gesture, like offering a gift, or voluntarily turning off a light you know bothers the neighbor, or a kind word, or giving your place to a tired mom in line, this is who we are.

    All of these simple, kind acts actually take some effort. And we are willing to make that effort.

    And in this true democracy of our character lies our strength.

    We have voices. And when we use them with love instead of anger everyone wins.

    Those who shout hurt their own throats — and all politicians shout — have you noticed? Whether on the right, left, or in the middle — they shout. Their voices, even when in front of a microphone, are always raised.

    Words that are spoken softly with love and thoughtfulness resonate in a widening circle.

    It is not the circle of politics and politicians, for that is the circle of those with ambition for power. Ambition for power corrupts — on all sides of the political spectrum.

    But it is the circle of those whose character shapes our democracy and who would go to the polls in star studded tutus, and smile at strangers who may be voting in a different way from us, and turn off a light for a neighbor, and give a tired mama a place ahead in the line.

    This is who we are. And you describe us so beautifully.

    • Liz says:

      Kim, this is so beautiful, every single word, and your words help to show that we can have faith in the people of our country, even when things seem bleak.

      “When we are face to face our differences dissolve in the small acts of goodwill” – that sums up how I was feeling in the polls that day completely.

      And just like your experience with hurricane Katrina, I had a similar experience during 9/11. As we looked for a lost friend, the acts of kindness and goodwill were everywhere, and they are what I remember the most. With each small act, of which there were so many, it felt like some kind of universal love was supporting us, despite the hate that was inflicted upon us. I’ve never felt so connected to the world as I did during that time.

      I couldn’t agree more about the power of softly spoken words. Shouting is a cheap tactic, it takes so much more patience, strength and determination to convey a strong message, gently.

      Kim, your words and perspective are a gift. And a big YES to casting our votes in start studded tutus.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Klaire says:

    I wish I could be more philosophical about this election, but I still feel sad and wounded. I just left Facebook because I realize I can’t handle the overwhelming harshness I feel from some friends and family members. There are a few in my family that are so black and white on issues they would cut me off if they knew how I really felt. They would also think I was a big baby because that is just how they think.
    It was even suggested in one post that I am on the wrong side of God based on how I voted. I’m afraid of losing health insurance that I waited a long time to get, although lots of others face even scarier Consequences. I’m really discouraged and this election reinforces this feeling I am not strong enough for this world.

    • Liz says:

      Hi Klaire,

      Thank you for sharing this. From what you wrote here, I think you may have more strength than you think.

      To me, the fact that you left Facebook was a very strong move. Instead of allowing yourself to be subject to the weight of negativity and statements that you know aren’t true, statements that can only cause division and pain, you took a stand for yourself and left. I’m not sure if most people would have that kind of strength and will power. Instead of allowing Facebook comments to steal your energy, you can now use that energy elsewhere.

      And feeling sad and wounded doesn’t make you weak, avoiding or trying to ignore those feelings would be much easier. It takes a lot more strength to feel what we need to feel, honor those feelings and process them all so that we can heal deeply and move forward from a place of deeper wisdom and resilience. You already took a brave step to honor your feelings by leaving Facebook.

      Maybe the world needs more people with your kind of strength…

  6. Jennifer Sinclair says:

    Hi Liz, I hope you find time for rest. Thank you for the post and it’s wonderful that you took the time to write it. So rest and rest.

  7. […] I can find the gratitude in every ordinary day, every hard day, every day that pushes my sensitive nerves to their limits. I can even find it in the toughest of […]

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