As I write this, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been declared President-Elect and Vice President-Elect of the United States.
And while the world exhales a collective sigh of relief, there is also an undercurrent of anxiety.
As we dance with joy and bang our pots and pans in celebration, we quietly wonder—what happens next?
Based on his reaction to the voting count, we know that the current president has not accepted the result of this election and may not leave the White House gracefully for his successor.
It is not looking promising on Twitter, where several of his posts have been censored, and he continues to claim victory despite multiple news outlets proclaiming Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.
If you feel like you don’t know what to feel, or if you’re not sure if you should feel anxious or relieved, or if you feel like you’re on the edge of anxiety, you are completely normal.
We have been conditioned, for at least the last four years, to expect the worst, and even, the unexpected. To believe that our voice does not matter and that we will have to keep fighting to be heard.
If this sounds like a trauma response, perhaps it is.
And if we know anything about trauma, it is that it takes time to process what we have been through. Sometimes, the experiences and memories live on in our bodies and trigger us when we least expect.
Let us not forget that for the past four years, we have been governed by a man who not only engaged considerable support from fellow humans but displayed characteristics that many of us condemn.
We felt helpless as a man accused of so much continued to hold the highest seat in what is perceived as the world’s most powerful nation.
We looked on as news anchors, politicians, and researchers analysed his actions and behaviours, but…nothing—nothing was bringing the much-needed reprieve.
We worried about the example this set for our children and future generations. We even took to the streets in protest, time and time again. All over the world.
And when this election came around, wherever in this blessed world we were, we hoped and prayed and wished on all that is good that for once our voices would be heard.
And they were. And they are.
It is no wonder then that we feel we are at the crossroads of anxiety and relief.
Is this it? Can we breathe now? Can we look forward to a future where fairness, kindness, justice, and democracy thrive?
As I sit on my couch in my favourite lotus position, pouring into this article and momentarily checking Twitter, I offer you these words:
>> Just for this moment, celebrate.
>> Just for this moment, dream your most daring dreams.
>> Just for this moment, feel deeply the love and gratitude radiating from around the world.
No matter what tomorrow brings, I know that we can get through anything.
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