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What do you do when you feel ragged and the source of your depressed frustration is something over which you have no real control? Yup, I caught election blues. Actually, I wasn’t as much disappointed and repulsed by a particular candidate as I was depressed that people I know and love would vote for him. So, what to do? Judge all those people when I don’t believe we’re permitted to judge one another? Move to another country where the hate groups might be worse? Drink myself into a stupor?
Meanwhile, my email was stuffed with messages like “All is Lost!”—whether it was or not. Campaign workers who surely had the best of intentions dumped load after load of pointless guilt on me and my lack of enough funds to impact anything. I’m not exaggerating when I say I reached a state of despair. And, of course, negative emotions attract more negative emotions. Bad choice.
So I resorted to a tried-and-true remedy. I began playing classic rock music from a far distant era. No, I DON’T believe life was better then (Vietnam, Civil Rights struggles, assassinations, bombings, etc.). But I was younger and more optimistic. I didn’t see the end of my life looming on the horizon, so I was certain everything could eventually work out. The folk music I listened to was idealistic and filled with pleas for love. So, the first magic trick listening to that music again accomplished was to convince my brain that optimism and idealism are still okay. I’m healthy; I’m smart; I can be the change I wish to see in the world. Even if the world doesn’t grow kinder, I can.
The second magic trick was to play music that began sadly and then gradually introduce happier beats. My brain rhythms cheerfully followed along, climbing out of the pits. I discovered myself smiling—as I should have been smiling all along. After all, I’m rich—not in money or power or influence, but in all the things that matter: love, connections, and the necessities of living. I have wonderful friends—some near, some far, some floating in cyberspace. I have a puppy that is too adorable for words—and he’s almost housebroken! I have a husband and family to be envied.
So that’s my suggestion if you fall prey to election blues or any other kind of blues. Start with your background music. Give yourself the background music of a film that ends well. Inspire yourself. Remember you’re the lead character in your life. Do something you enjoy (it doesn’t have to be “significant”). You’ve done what you could to physically remedy your world; now fix it in your mind.