“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” ~Ernest Hemingway

Well, Thanksgiving is right around the corner, you guys. I have been trying to focus on all the things for which I am grateful amidst the chaos and the absurdity and the unsettling political reality by which we are all surrounded right now.

I admit:  It has been challenging.

But I still believe (as I wrote prior to the election being over) that we cannot lose sight of our joy even while there is legitimately horrifying and heartbreaking stuff happening in this world at the moment.

Because once we allow the awfulness of it all to completely displace the goodness in our hearts, we’ve lost. And then we truly are powerless.

I happen to believe we are more powerful than we realize.

And that being defiant in our right to stay joyful and connected and loving and compassionate is a big part of holding onto that power in the face of the adversity we will likely find ourselves facing over the next four years.

And the challenges we are already up against.

I believe that if we are going to affect actual change going forward, we must step out from behind our stories of powerlessness and take ownership over our place in the fight for what’s right.

It’s not at all easy, and doing so asks us to step up our personal responsibility game quite a bit, but I think that’s exactly what the world needs us to do.

Get involved. Answer the call. Acknowledge our capacity to actually make an impact.

Yesterday, a dear friend of mine — who happens to fall into at least two of the categories of people directly targeted by the President-Elect during his campaign — enlightened me on his refusal to fall into victimhood in the aftermath of the recent election.

He absolutely will not give up his power, regardless of who takes office in January. And even though he could very well lose some basic rights in this country’s foreseeable future.

He will certainly not forfeit his joy.

He has fought too long and too hard for that joy to allow a greedy orange man to steal it from him.

He won’t do it.

My friend believes the result of this election is an opportunity for us all to step into our power as individuals, to denounce the victim mentality, and to make a real difference in the country — and the world — at large.

I sincerely hope my friend is right.

(He probably is. He’s super smart.)

So, I want to wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all find a little joy this week in spending time with family and friends and those you love most.

And I hope we all stop to ask what tangible action we might take to make ourselves even the tiniest bit responsible for what’s happening on a larger scale.

Some thoughts on how:

Donate.

Volunteer.

Call your representatives.

Write letters.

Create art. (Let Toni Morrison convince you it’s important.)

Listen, read, educate yourself.

Live more sustainably.

Send supplies to Standing Rock. Go there if you can.

Have difficult, uncomfortable conversations — even with your own family members. (Especially with them.)

Call out bigotry and injustice when you see it.

Remember how powerful you are.

Much love to each of you. Have a wonderful holiday. <3