“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” — Frida Kahlo

In times like these, remind yourself of the grander powers that will help you transcend and move forward. This election has revealed certain clear truths: one candidate has won, another has lost, and our nation is divided. Half our country will mourn today. Half will celebrate. This is not a victory, it’s a revelation. So divided, it’s clear that collectively, we are confused and hurting. Hurt people who don’t feel understood, and who don’t dive deep to understand and accept their hurt, will move and act with pain in their hearts, and with pain flowing through their actions.

All of us have felt hurt at some point, and if you’re hurting today, dive into it rather than shaming yourself for it. If your hurt turns into resentment, don’t reject it. Be present with your resentment, and accept it for a moment. If your resentment transforms into anger, sit with those sensations. Ask yourself how they feel, and in what direction they’re moving. My own anger turns into sadness. Perhaps yours will do the same. Sadness is a deep emotion that many of us, from a very young age, are told not to feel — just think about how often we hear adults telling children to stop crying. But don’t reject your sadness; welcome it, and feel it. Have a cry. Allow your feelings to express themselves as loudly as they desire. Yell, write, paint, walk out your anger, until it turns into tears. Cry until you can’t cry anymore. And then sit with the eerie feeling of emptiness.

What do you want to fill your emptiness with? How do you want to greet the world today, or if too soon — tomorrow? How do you want to be greeted? If you’re celebrating, imagine being on the other side — how would you feel? How can you be compassionate with your celebration? What makes you feel appreciated, understood, loved? While you may feel that your actions have been ignored or defeated, you’re still standing here today. Consider what your next move will be. We are all still on the path of life. We are all still connected to our earth, our loved ones, and ourselves. How do you want to honor that connection on a day like today?

Know that everyone around you is a vulnerable, feeling human, just like yourself. Go out in the world like a child who has just had a good cry. Be vulnerable. Ask for a hug. Give a hug. Find a friend to laugh with. Let the light come in. Feel yourself lift and take flight with love in your heart. You have the power to remind others of their wings. And you always have the power to fly higher.

– Nicole