You Did Your Part
“You have power over your mind — not outside events, realize this and you will find strength.” — Marcus Aurelius.
Today one of the biggest outside events of our life is going on, but you don’t need me to tell you just how important this election is. What you may need me to tell you though, is that you did your part.
Many of you are feeling a state of never-ending dread and anxiety. You’ve lost loved ones to COVID. You’ve lost loved ones overseas. You’ve lost your job or could never find one. You’ve been a victim of racial injustice. You’ve had to fight for your reproductive rights and maybe even which bathroom to use. You’ve suffered so many losses, and you’ve had to fight for a million things, many of which I can’t even imagine. You fought, you survived, and you will continue to fight and survive.
I feel as though, for many of you, when you lose some of those fights, you feel defeated. You let that anxiety and dread take over you, you let your head fall, and you give up. Don’t do that; you’re better than that. Keep fighting.
When the results of this election are in, and when the inauguration rolls around in January, all of America’s problems won’t be solved; in fact, most of them won’t be. We won’t wake up one day and have sea levels back to normal, we won’t wake up one day and there be no hate in the hearts of the cruel, we won’t wake up when day and suddenly be rid of all our problems. But that is okay. That is okay because we tried. And we will keep trying.
Take a look at the quote at the beginning of this note. You don’t have power over outside events. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard you fought. The bad guys can still win. Let me remind you what you do have power over… your mind. You have the power over your thoughts. You have the power over what you do when you wake up in the morning. You have the power of controlling how you treat others, and equally importantly, how you treat yourself. For every negative thought that makes its way to your brain, for every ounce of fear, envy, dread, and hate, there is an opposite thought to be found. You can control your brain. You can find them. Flood your brain with love, courage, empathy, humility, creativity, and joy. Train your brain to think these thoughts. How do you do that? Well, I’m still working on that, and I don’t think there’s a tried and true answer for everyone, but I know it’s possible. It’s possible to become the best and most positive version of yourself, and if you do so, if we all do so, the best version of the world will follow.
Keep fighting the bad guys, and even if we disagree on who the bad guys are, if we all fight the good fight, we can make sure we aren’t moving left, we aren’t moving right, we’re just moving forward.
I want each of you reading this to take a look in the mirror and smile and be proud of yourself today. You did your part. You’re doing the best you can. And for that? I thank you, I commend you, and I acknowledge you.