Monday, September 1, 2008

The Burden of Sacrificing Everything

Let’s be honest – life is full of unpleasant experiences. We learn early on about coping mechanisms for life’s great devastations.

Life is not gentle – gracing us early with that unspeakable break up during the eighth grade dance – and it only gets worse from there. And although we all like lemonade a lot better than lemons – making the analogy work isn’t always that easy.

Life teaches us early on about the importance of coping, of grieving, of recovering, and most importantly – of growing. And as embarrassing as they may be, our stumbles really do make us smarter, and wiser.

This weekend, in the midst of sorting through my emotional confusion regarding the Republican announcement of their Vice Presidential candidate, I was reminded of my own middle school dance break up – and the heartbreak that followed. I was reminded of life’s recovery process – and what we learn along the way as we battle life’s curve balls.

Life teaches you about the five stages of grief:


On the morning of August 29th – as we sat in horror watching Senator McCain stumble through the announcement of his Vice Presidential running mate, many of us plunged into denial – praying, hoping, and pleading that we were victims of a sick political joke. It seemed nearly impossible that Governor Sarah Palin was qualified for the position. She was barely even “googleable.”

When denial wasn’t enough – we became angry – angry that such a pandering, nonsensical choice would be considered – let alone selected.

And then we bargained. We told ourselves, “…Maybe she is qualified.” And so we searched. We checked her record – we wanted to believe – but we couldn’t – because as a mayor of a town numbering less that 9,000 people and as a Governor for shy of 2 years, there was hardly a record to check.

Depression settled in across America this weekend. We looked at ourselves in the mirror. We asked, “Has it come to this? Is this what we’ve become?”

Today, I’ve left depression behind me and I’ve accepted. I’ve accepted that the Republicans and their poor, selfish policies, with their inadequate, condescending leaders, finally broke down their own immoral restraints.

Pain may not always be pleasant, but it makes us tougher – and the events of this past weekend have made me a better, more resilient Democrat. I’ll no longer allow myself to be surprised or shocked by Mc-Cheney-Bush’s ruthless political agenda. My skin is thick – they can’t make me angry any longer. I won’t let them.

I’m grateful for the snot-nosed eighth grader that broke my heart that night on the gymnasium floor during the dance. My heart is stronger – and I’ve learned. I’m a better, tougher woman because of that kid.

And I’m grateful for women like Sarah Palin – who chose to sacrifice her own integrity – her own pride as a woman – simply to fulfill a political agenda.

On Friday, August 29th – I was reminded once again – that a woman’s greatest enemy isn’t that eighth grade kid on that gymnasium floor.

A woman’s greatest enemy is herself.

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