I don’t know about you but I am exhausted with politics. One thing that helps me keep my sanity is using my creativity. I’m gonna share seven ways to use your creativity for political sanity.
My father taught me that voting was my civic duty. He was a Vietnam veteran and took his civic duty very seriously. When I turned eighteen he took me to register to vote. Now, if you haven’t gathered, I am a wee bit creative and that means I am not real linear in the way I think and act. I move and think in circles and my voting record reflects that. It would be easy to label me as a “liberal” but that wouldn’t be the whole truth. On somethings I am very liberal and on others I am not. I think a lot of us ebb and flow in circles and our politics reflect that. And I believe this is where we find common ground. I invite you to write a short story from the view point of your voting ballot. I know it’s a little odd and maybe a stretch but what does your voting ballot look like? How many do you have? What do you like about your voting ballot? What do you dislike? If you could go back in time and change a voting ballot would you?
I voted for Hillary and I won’t apologize for that. I have family members who voted for Trump and they are not about to apologize for their vote. The truth is, we have the RIGHT to vote for whoever we want. It’s called democracy. The “suffering” comes when we try to persuade others to think like we think. There is a caveat though. When you see something that you know is wrong, don’t try to justify it. For example, sexual assault is never ok. What does your political suffering look like? What color is it? I invite you to take a blank piece of paper and use the language of color to represent your emotions around political suffering.
If you turn on your television you will see angry people. Some call it polarization but I call it anger. People are pissed. This anger bubbles up toward friends and family members because of what we discussed in number 2. My question is this, Is it worth it? Is our anger worth losing our friends and family? Maybe. If we discover that Uncle George is a racist then it can put a real strain on our relationship. But here is the real truth. Uncle George has always been a racist and you suspected it long before now. The difference is that Uncle George is vocal about his beliefs and that makes you angry. I invite you to draw a heart. Inside the heart write the names of people you love. It’s ok if Uncle George is outside the heart. Next, ask yourself how you can change racism (or whatever the issues is) by using love fueled by gentle anger? Yes, gentle anger. You can still be angry but it is soften through the lens of love.
Create a super secret Facebook group and invite those who like minded. This is your Political Hate & Rage clubhouse. Everyone in the clubhouse will validate and agree with you. It is important to have a place where you can express your feelings without judgement. Holding in your anger is just rage unleashed inside you. Never a good idea. I invite you to create memes that represent your ideas, thoughts and beliefs. It also keeps your anger off your main Facebook page. I think this is very important because is it our intent to wound each other so deeply that our relationships are in shreds. At the end of the day, we are all Americans.
Allow yourself one news program, once a day. After you watch the news journal about your feelings and thoughts. Take your time and write out your thoughts. This helps with anger and anxiety. Oh and no computer journals. Take the time to actually write (we use a different part of the brain when we write).
Turn off the noise. There is so much noise on our social media accounts, radio and television. Take a day and turn it ALL off. I invite you to listen to songs from your youth. Go back in time. Sing, dance and remember the freedom of youth. Pull out a couple of year books. You might even reach out to an old school friend. Reminiscing in combination with music can be a powerful healing activity.
Take a field trip. When is the last time you have been to an art museum? Symphony? Play? Find out what’s going on in your community and patriciate in the creative arts. Also, don’t forget that you too can create art, stories and music for your own brand of creativity for political sanity. If you need some help to get started, it’s what I do!