Bernie supporters shun Hillary. Trump victory pushback against ruling class. Rent-a-mobs take to the streets. It’s the beginning of greatness. No, no, it’s the terrifying end of the world.

Aggghhh! Time out.

Por favor, come down to tranquil, peaceful Costa Rica and detox!

As a Costa Rican and a Canadian with many American friends and immediate family living there of both political stripes, I feel compelled to try to redirect focus to a more neutral state of mind.

Though the battle royal for the hearts and minds of many Americans has officially ended with the popular vote for one and the Electoral College for the other, the emotional turmoil will continue. Some Americans feel victorious and emotionally relieved. But others are absolutely devastated and even terrified.

What astounds me is how so many intelligent, caring people can find themselves with such opposing political views and with such excessive emotional investments.

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Thoughts vs Feelings.

Feelings are always preceded by thoughts that form opinions. Thoughts are fed by frames of reference (information). Media, educational, political, religious and financial institutions and Hollywood all fuel passions.

Those sources are all controlled by concentrated power. No left or right. Just power. The machinations have so many fighting with each other over that which many of the combatants can barely define.

Some of us get it. Some still languish in utter ignorance of what is really going on.

Discernment and the ability to think critically come at a price. So many of us have never allowed ourselves to be challenged about views on huge swaths of modern life. Egos enslave us in chains of pride, fear, anger and resentment. Reaching down into our authentic spirit is the only route to overcoming differences.

Clinging fiercely to the traditions of our family or “tribe”, clique, social class, religion etc., is just too easy. Vetting frames of reference is hard work. Objectivity demands it. The alternative is an endless spiral into irrationality and the inevitable separation from our good-hearted fellow human beings.

Costa Rica culture has its faults, but we still value non-confrontation highly as opposed to how it seems to be celebrated in the U.S. Put downs are the staple of late night talk shows. It might get a laugh for a moment but it always leaves an unpleasant emotional residue.

The power mongers behind the curtain have succeeded wildly in dividing by dictating what people focus on. I think the results of the election were a firm push back against all those attempts at social engineering.

Shifting of focus is a conscious decision. For me, it seems that it would begin with setting aside the sardonic jokes and condescending criticisms. This whole contest really wasn’t about a pair of highly flawed candidates anyway. It was about the ideals each is a symbol for. Notice I said “symbol for” and not “stands for”. For the winner, it remains to be seen.

Lucky you who have made the intrepid choice to move to Costa Rica. You’ve come to a much more tranquil culture and environment. I truly believe that here you can more easily find the peace that has eluded you back home.

For those of you who haven’t been to Paradise yet, please book that trip now. Don’t hesitate. Just book it. The weather is great all year so lots of schedule flexibility. Rent a car or tour bus and travel freely and safely all over the country.

Costa Rica’s beauty will often feel like a mink glove on bare skin. You will find yourself on a beach walk or a trek through the rainforest with fellow travellers.

When you’re leaning on the rail of the ferry crossing Golfo Nicoya, or standing in any of the countless stunning venues here in Costa Rica and you’re sharing that moment with a fellow American, their political persuasion will matter little.

Not likely that politics will even come up, or if it does, it will be quickly subordinated to savouring that beauty you are each immersed in. It’s a phenomenon I have experienced and witnessed countless times.

Whether conservative, liberal or anything in between, don’t we all want the same things for our loved ones and ourselves? Personal and environmental health, security, social order, fairness? Kindness, respect, and accountability? Freedom?

Costa Rica makes it much easier to seek that which connects as opposed to what distinguishes. Fellow travellers are much more likely to seek what they have in common.

Agree to disagree agreeably.

If politics does come up, try first to understand rather then be understood. We’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason. Tap into your own heart and spirit where things are untainted and authentic.

I promise you… you’re going to learn something about the other person counter to what you may have presumed. In those moments, you will come to understand what Pura Vida really means.

“Most people are about as happy as the make up their minds to be.” Abe Lincoln.

As mentioned above, we Ticos shun confrontation. Perhaps it is that way because we are a monoculture and it’s easier to maintain that tradition. We kiss and hug each other 10 times easier than Americans and we are constantly celebrating.

Family and friends come to my home from all over Costa Rica, New York, Salt Lake City and Toronto for Christmas. Most are poorly informed on politics… but each has an opinion.

They include Liberals and Conservatives. Some are religious. Some are not at all. How is it we end up singing and howling with laughter most of the night? Intent.

Each makes a conscious decision to embrace family and get along. Inevitably politics will come up. When it starts getting testy, my ex-DJ husband cranks up a well loved song and everyone snaps out of the devolving discussion and burst into song and laughter. We are here to connect… not split philosophical hairs.

So as this Christmas season approaches, try a different response this year to what has worn so many of you down to a frazzle. Celebrate life and all its beauty here in Costa Rica and let it help you put the past 18-month political storm behind you.

For those of you who will decide to move here or already have done so, I heartily encourage you to get your residency to optimize your experience and really feel like you belong.

Escape to Costa Rica where you can live in peace!

Written by Laura B. Gutiérrez who specializes in getting your residency approved in Costa Rica quicker and more efficiently than any attorney.
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