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Now that Donald Trump has been elected to be the next President of the United States, you are likely experiencing a high degree of fear and uncertainty about the future.  What is going to happen to our country?  Will there still be funding for my support services?  Is my health insurance at risk?  How do I teach my child right from wrong?  The list goes on and on…!!!

For parents, along with those that have been told they have a disorder, disability, condition, etc., you might be experiencing similar emotions now as you did at the time of your diagnosis or that of a loved one.  You might be dealing with great shock or sadness.  You may be feeling like your best efforts were not good enough or not even worth it.  You may not have liked what you were told at first, and you may still not like it to this day.  While you finally get an answer about something that you’d been waiting on for what seems like forever, you suddenly find yourself with even more questions than you started with!  Wanting to change the past is not the best use of your valuable time and energy.  Instead, accepting the cards you have been dealt and making the most of what you have will help you move forward.

Here are some things to keep in mind after this election and why remaining hopeful rather than hopeless is imperative to having a better future:

  1. Change can be, and often is, for the better. Venturing into the unknown or unfamiliar territory can be very nerve-wracking.  As a result, you might revert back to old habits or seeking an easy alternative.  However, it is during the difficult times in our lives that we reveal who we truly are and find out the most about ourselves.  We begin to see what we are really capable of and get that much closer to being our best selves.  You may have a setback or make a mistake along the way, but learning from these setbacks and mistakes in your life will give you knowledge you can apply later so that you will hopefully not have to go through the same situation again.  As Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”  By changing our approach in dealing with difficulties and being open rather than closed off to change, we can begin to see a better life on the horizon.
  1. Even if you do your part, the final outcome may sometimes not be what you expected.  Now that we have discussed change and how it can throw things off at first, we need to address unforeseen consequences or the possibility that things may not turn out as you had hoped, planned or intended.  Worrying about what hasn’t happened yet or what terrible things might happen eats away at your happiness and well-being.  Dananjaya Hettiarachchi (Toastmasters International’s 2014 World Champion of Public Speaking) once told me that overanalysis leads to paralysis.  Know that you did what you could to help and that is all that anyone can ask of you.  You cannot be expected to know everything or to foresee all consequences of your actions nor should you expect this of yourself.  If you are putting yourself down for something you had no control over such as the outcome of this election, you owe it to yourself to forgive yourself.  Releasing yourself from the burden of fixing things that were not your fault to begin with will be a huge weight off your shoulders and allow you to keep on going.
  1. Everything is going to be all right in the end.  Our nation and world have been through very difficult times before.  From wars to terrorist incidents to economic downturns, we have had our share of trials that we have all endured together.  We weathered the storm though, survived and made ourselves better people as a result.  The universe has a way of bringing itself back into balance after tragic events.  President Obama reminded us that no matter what the outcome of the election, the sun will still rise the next day.  Sure enough, that is exactly what happened and a new day began!  We also heard Secretary Clinton remind us that fighting for what is right is worth it.  That’s how I know leaving accounting was the right thing for me to do and that’s how I know helping others see the light, as opposed to the dark side, and work towards a more positive outlook is the right thing for me to do.  Every gray cloud truly does have a silver lining…even if it is difficult to see at first.  So, remember, if everything doesn’t seem all right now, it’s not the end.

In closing, even though the election results have been a shock to many of us, let us see the outcome as an opportunity to improve our country for the better in the future.  Unfriending and blocking people based on their choice of candidate is not the way to unite…it only furthers the divide that put us into this situation in the first place.  I am reminded of Stephen Covey’s 5th habit of highly effective people: Seek First to Understand, Then To Be Understood.  If we make a real and genuine effort towards the former by listening to each other on a deeper and more personal level and finding out why things are the way they are, we can get to the root of the matters that have torn us apart and start making real and everlasting change for the better for all.

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