Forgotten that emotions do not go away because the whistle is blown and the game is called. Forgotten that cars get flipped, stores get lit on fire, people stampede after football games because the emotions don’t stay in the stadium, they don’t stay on the pitch.

Even with practice and especially without practice, emotions are messy. Emotions don’t recognize election dates, they don’t recognize when situations are over. Emotions don’t honor the boxes and boundaries that our logic minds put them into. They linger and they fester and they seep through the seams and they erupt if left unchecked.

I’ve been hearing a lot of “It’ll be over soon”-type of talk. No, it won’t. The animosity that has been brewing because we have been nurturing it in the nationwide rhetoric will not go away because the election is called. We, as a country, will have to digest this bitterness, and from what I’ve been seeing, there are not enough people doing the practice to digest all the shit we have produced. In science, in yoga, in life, the bottom line is the same: Garbage in = garbage out. And the laws of nature dictate that the garbage must come out. As a country, I predict that we will experience a massively uncomfortable case of indigestion before we come to peace. What that looks like, I don’t know.

We’ve forgotten that there is no us, there is no them. I believe that everyone who is voting wants change regardless who they are voting for. I also believe that positive change looks different to every person you ask. We all have different priorities that reflect our histories and our idealized futures. To say, “I don’t understand how you can vote for x, y, z” and to turn your back is to avoid the responsibility of trying to understand your neighbors. To hand-wring and agonize, “How could this have happened?!” is to deny your own responsibility in this society. One person is not responsible for all of it, but we are all responsible for some of it. What happens at the upper echelons of government is a reflection on what we as a nation have put there — of the trespasses we have turned a blind eye to and the trespasses that we have committed.

When I catch myself forgetting about the humanity of others, the wise words of Maya Angelou remind me:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

In this election cycle, we have alienated. We have turned into “us” and railed against “them.” We have put up walls. We have put up walls again walls. And we will not suddenly forget the words that were spewed in emotional turmoil and the lines that were drawn tomorrow morning when we wake up.

It would do us well to remember that we still have so much work to do — this does not end today. The clean-up process begins today. I hope we are ready.

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