Getting Back to Love.

I’ve never considered myself a political person. I stay buried in work, chores, exercise, and (if I’m lucky), I get to savor a glass of wine with my husband while listening to music, catch up with my kids or read a few pages of a novel to close the day. My beliefs are simple and I vote accordingly. Love people. Be strong and steadfast, but kind. Leave the world a little better than you found it.

I try not to be wasteful with my days. I have seen enough grief and loss in this life to know my time here is limited. Most importantly perhaps, I require a life of peace — even when it makes for hard choices. And I don’t abdicate those choices.

I vote democratic most years but not because I believe Republicans have bad ideals or are bad people. Many in my family are Republican and I love them dearly. I share some of their views.

It’s just that, at the end of the day, I don’t think my beliefs should dictate the options and opportunities of others and so I vote for equity and choice for all of us. I also want to live in a world where, as a society, we build the structure and systems to lift each other up. I vote for progress.

Somewhere in these last four years, my democratic views became fodder for Facebook memes and conspiracy theories. Many of which I’ve seen posted by my own family. I see Donald Trump as a trainwreck. They see him as the only choice to save America from government overreach, economic collapse, and a corrupt society. I see him as a potential catalyst for those things.

They resist the kind of change that a Biden+Harris administration suggests.

Joe Biden has a hard road ahead without a doubt. He inherits an America so deeply divided that many of us can’t even engage with family on social media.

I don’t know how you fix that. I don’t know how we heal.

What I do know is this.

I am not a socialist. My vote for Joe Biden was a vote for democracy. For normalcy. For equity. For partnership with our global economy. For kindness. If he can successfully create programs for health care and education and climate protection along the way, that’s great. Our nation will be better for it. This structure exists in many other democratic countries. We can do this and still move forward.

I am not against Christian values. When Biden won this week, I posted a photo of me and my husband pausing to celebrate. One of the first comments was from a distant relative who noted that I was a fool “gleefully walking into the gates of hell”. I deleted the comment and blocked him but what I should have done was told him gleefully to kiss my ass. I was raised in the Baptist church — raised to revere God and believe in something bigger than myself. I may go to hell for other transgressions, however, voting my heart is not likely to make the list.

I love my family. These people are embedded in my heart. We’ve shared holidays and heartache. Sadly, we have lost our ease of conversation in these last few years. As of today, some of us barely speak and we certainly don’t connect. I feel this loss profoundly.

I have hope. There is no conceding of my beliefs while remaining authentically me. Yet, I’ll still feel targeted and hurt when my family posts negative remarks about democrats. I hope that in time we’ll find our way back to sharing life. Until then, I hope that my friendships will be strong.

This afternoon I was listening to a song by Levi Kreis — an artist who moves me every time I hear his voice. This lyric in particular brought me to tears.

Consider this, for a moment or two.

I am crimson red. You are ocean blue.

We’re just two of many colors in a stained glass window.

And love is the light that is shining through.

As a nation, I know we find our way back to love. I trust the Biden+Harris team to lead the way. In the meantime, I’ll stay mindful and stay open to love for those who are not yet ready to put down their sword.