I used to be the type of person who kept my own opinions to myself: about politics, religion, war…all the heavy-duty topics. I somehow thought that by maintaining a status quo approach to conversations, I'd fit in and be liked. Each time this happened, I would become physically ill. I'd feel sick to my stomach or nauseous.
In my personal and romantic relationships, however, it was harder to hide my opinions and my beliefs. I started to speak up and share my truths. As this happened, some of my relationships gradually disappeared. I realized I was making room for more authentic partnerships, relationships and friendships.
I began to see that when I used to get ill after keeping my mouth shut, it was because I was not speaking my truth. I had been looking for approval and validation from others and had betrayed myself in the process.
It wasn't until I looked inward that my need for acceptance disappeared. As I became more comfortable in my own skin, I no longer needed to prove anything to anyone.
What is learned is this: If we look outside ourselves to feel safe, comfortable, or happy, we will never get what we desire. Everything we need is already inside of us.
I have since taken a new approach to political conversations. For me, they are about celebrating our differences and appreciating others for their passionate opinions. If you're struggling with the political climate and looking for more peace of mind these tips can help.
Here are 5 ways to keep your peace of mind in today's political climate:
1. Celebrate Your Differences.
If someone has a different opinion, it doesn't make them, or you, wrong or right. Celebrate your differences and appreciate them for being passionate about something. If we were all the same, the world would be boring.
2. Trust Yourself.
You don't have to stand up and be an advocate to make your voice heard. Sometimes just knowing in your own heart how you feel is enough. Part of being true to yourself is trusting your opinion and knowing that you do make a difference. Vote for yourself and stand tall with integrity.
3. Don't Take Anything Personally.
What people say and believe is a reflection of them, not you. Learn to let go of expectations and be comfortable in your own skin.
4. We Are Not Our Opinions.
It is important to accept others for who they are, not what they believe. When people share their view or opinion, it is just that, an opinion, it does not make them who they are. At the end of the day, every person on this planet wants the same thing: to give love and to be loved.
5. Our Differences Help Us Grow.
When we step back, and see that we are not our opinion and that our viewpoints often change, we can relax into knowing that we are all connected in a much bigger way. We are all one and our differences provide a good contrast for growing and learning more about others and ourselves.