Real Life. Real News. Real Voices.
Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.
Join HuffPost Plus
THE BLOG

Okay...THAT Happened. Now What?

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

2016-12-10-1481411488-7346304-americanflag378143_1920.jpg

Many people found themselves in shock after last month's election results. But many others rejoiced. And others--they couldn't be phased either way.

Regardless of which camp you fit into, anytime an event happens in which people see things from vastly different perspectives, it gives us a chance to examine, reassess, and move forward in a new way. This applies to everything from an election to a simple family squabble.

Here's how that works:

First, the disconnection.
Whenever two sides can't understand each other's point of view--whether it's political parties we're talking about, or a married couple--it's time to try harder to understand each other. Set your ideas aside for a minute and really listen.

Next, understand fear.
Fear is a powerful force that motivates many of our actions much of the time. Fear activates the amygdala, and that creates a fight, flight, or freeze response in the brain. When you're in survival mode, it's difficult to think of others' needs. Which begs the question, "What are we so afraid of?"

Then, find the commonality.
We actually want a lot of the same things. In this country, for example, I think most people want affordable healthcare and quality education (even if we disagree on the best way to go about it). In other situations where there is disagreement, if you search deeply enough, I'm betting you'll also find agreement.

There's no going back.
A shocking event shakes things up and starts a new era, for better or for worse. In the case of the election, it brought to light how much about our old system isn't working. If it was, we wouldn't have so much polarity in our country. Since there's no going back, we may as well make the most of it.

It's time to be all in.
However you're called to serve, now is the time to do it. If you're a writer, now is the time to write. If you're a spiritual light worker, now is the time to meditate and radiate your light. If you're inspired to work for women's rights, immigrants, the LGBTQ community--get to it. While we never need a reason to be active in the community, if you were looking for one, you can find it now.

Change is an opportunity.
Even though it's uncomfortable sometimes, change is inevitable. How we handle change is everything. Will we have an explosive reaction or a proactive response? Transformation doesn't come from the light, it comes from moving through the darkness.

Unifying doesn't mean we have to agree.
We can move forward together with respect even when we don't agree on everything. Again, this applies to a situation as big as a country in turmoil or a couple who is arguing about the dishes. We can agree to disagree and move on together, putting our differences aside.

So yeah, that happened. It won't be the last shocking thing we'll go through. And whether you're still in shock or never were, let's not waste this opportunity for growth--as individuals, as a culture, and as a world. Now is the time to focus on SOLUTIONS rather than PROBLEMS, even though there are plenty of both.

Ready or not, it's time to roll up our sleeves, embrace the change, step up our collective game, yell "Bring it On!" and jump in, armed with kindness, empathy, and gratitude.

It's time for ACTION rather than ANXIETY.