The most difficult moments of our lives are the ones we will later look back on — perhaps even with gratitude — and bow to, acknowledging that it was then that we became who we are.

The betrayal, the death, the diagnosis, the phone call. Friendship lost, marriage ended, livelihood gone, home destroyed. In those moments we choose who we become. Whether we will be destroyed or made whole. Broken or broken open. Fiercer or fearful. Will we fight, freeze or fly?

This is one of those moments. Whatever happens, on or around November 3rd, ultimately, a winner and a loser will be declared. Regardless, wreckage will remain. Division, disillusion, distrust. They have created so much clean-up that will need to be done. Enough to last us all a lifetime. And in that moment, whenever it may be, each one of us will choose who we become. And each day after, as well. Let us not be ruined by these last four years. Let us rise to the occasion, no matter the outcome, and be made better by it.

Let us be healers with generous hearts. Let us forgive even as we keep on fighting. Let us be brave enough to love again. Let us evolve into better versions of ourselves, and may we each look back at these oh-so-challenging days and weeks and years — sometime in the not-so-distant future — and acknowledge, with gratitude, that this is when we became our best selves.

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”

– Iain S. Thomas