hold onto me…
’cause I’m a little unsteady
a little unsteady…”
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.
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
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.
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