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MY DISTRUST IN POLITICS HELPED ME TRUST MYSELF

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Supposedly the most authentic writing happens right when you wake up in the morning before your filter wakes up and does its job – even when answering a survey from O, The Oprah Magazine. The survey asked “How I was feeling about America?” the answers poured out. All the built up emotions stemming from my distrust of politics saturated by the pain and anguish I’d absorbed from everybody over the last few months bubbled to the surface. My words flowed out without the fear of judgement, alienation, or confrontation from this unidirectional survey. Feeling some relief, I hit send on the finished survey.  I trusted the e-universe to take it from there.

Understand, I abhor politics. I rarely get involved or speak up on most political issues, especially in such heated discussions as a result of our last election. Everyday, the press covers something new and cringeworthy. My first glimmer of hope came when I saw Oprah’s 60 Minutes segment, “Divided.” Her segment invited 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans to the table to “encourage regular Americans to keep talking politics — and, more importantly, to listen to those who may disagree.” I trust Oprah and her namesake magazine to moderate a fair, effective conversation.

Out of the blue, for the second time* this year, O, The Oprah Magazine wrote back! The executive editor wanted to share something I’d written in the survey in their extremely popular women’s magazine!  So flattered and petrified at the same time, I felt my heart leap out of my throat the same time my neck tensed up. I know how much I lack in the political arena with issues, history, laws, everything, so the idea of being a poster child for my statement panicked me. I certainly didn’t want to bring any political attention to myself, nor invite any debates to my muddy beliefs. However, this is my year to say Yes! So WWOD – What Would Oprah Do? I trusted the executive editor and her vision for this piece.

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Quoted in Oprah’s magazine? WTF!     W*O*W*! That’s Frightening!

We laughed that perhaps this marked the start of my career as a political commentator and I guffawed knowing I don’t have the backbone for it. I’ll admit it, I’m thin-skinned as is evident by my reaction to the last year’s politics and my response to the painful divisions brought on by the election. I, too, just want people to get along. But I agree with Oprah, this election has blown the curtains back on many issues and we need to keep the conversations going. I trust people will return to a level where we can listen to those who disagree and sometimes, respectfully, agree to disagree.

However, I felt like being quoted for my personal true and emotional response to a volatile political aftermath happened for a reason. I needed to go through this experience to grow in some way. I understand now that to give credibility to my craft, I must release my people-pleasing insecurities. I won’t always please everybody but so long as I’m being truthful to my topic, then I will own it. So this internal tension I felt dreading possible confrontations online or in person, propelled me over a speed bump. I can’t write about growth and evolution on my blog if I continued to play it safe. I still will not discuss or debate politics but will give more attention to politics, starting on a local level. I will continue my efforts to positively engage my community and strengthen community ties through continual kindness and empowerment programs. I trust in the change happening to me as a result of this experience.

I trust that with Oprah and O, The Oprah Magazine leading the charge, every passionate supporter or opponent will ultimately be represented, heard and have meaningful conversations with others on long-overdue or hot new areas of discussion. We will find ways to turn our energy to make changes and do good.

*To learn about the first time O, The Oprah Magazine wrote me back, click here!

What about you?

  • What is the scariest thing you ever agreed to do that turned into a learning lesson?
  • Do you answer magazine surveys?
  • What are you doing to bring positive change to your hometown?
  • What change would you like to see in the world after this past year – Please keep it civil.
 #OMagInsiders #OprahMagazine #Oprah #Growth #Opportunity #LessonLearned #Change
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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rachel Simmonds
    Dec 13, 2017 @ 12:57:18

    Great post, Sarah! I admire your bravery on discussing such a hot topic! This election definitely opened the curtain to some ugly truths out there. I hope we can all heal with time.

    Reply

  2. oncealittlegirl
    Dec 13, 2017 @ 14:08:12

    Wow! You pose a lot of questions.

    The biggest thing I’ve learned from this last presidential election is that things are not what they seem. I need to listen more, ask questions, and engage in the system.

    I took a “bubble” survey and found I’m not in as much of a bubble as many. I have friends and family in white collar, blue collar, pink collar, farmers, retired, and unemployed or students. Kids go to private and public schools. My family, my friends, and my colleagues comprise a mix of ethnicities, genders, races, religions, and non religions.

    My comfort lies in the fact that only 40% of those eligible voted. That is my agony as well.

    I, like you, prefer to avoid political debate. This year has changed me. It’s time to do the hard work of learning and acting. Respectfully, graciously, and with passion.

    Reply

  3. ria1224
    Dec 13, 2017 @ 16:19:57

    Proud of you for saying yes and voicing your concern.

    I, too, hate confrontation. I lost one of my best friends over this last election. She found out who I voted for and suddenly started making assumptions about me as a person, when the only thing that had changed was her own perception. It was very hurtful to me and took me months to get over. But it only matters what I think of myself and what God thinks about me. Took me a while to be able to not give a flying f%k what anyone else thinks, but it’s so great when you can get to that point.

    Congrats on your courage and continued devotion to personal growth.

    Reply

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