Imagine, the election is over. The ballots have been cast. Your candidate has lost. You did everything you could to prevent it from happening, but the opposition has won.

Disappointment, disbelief, fear.

Now, two months later, you watch in horror as the oath is administered. A man you believe wholly unqualified for the job of President, is sworn into office for the next 4 years.

While you try and remain hopeful, something inside of you is saying “Will I have a country after this is over?” Something else inside of you says, “How did this happen? What can I do now?” You feel like it’s over.

Do these emotions sound familiar? If you’re a conservative, you probably were reminiscing to the 2008 election when Barack Obama became President. However, if you identify as a liberal, those emotions are far more fresh. You’re probably thinking back to last week when Donald Trump became President.

If you’re experiencing these emotions right now, I know how you feel. I felt the exact same way 8 years ago. What you’re going through is hard and painful. However, what defines you as a person is not what you feel, but how you respond it.

When I was experiencing those emotions in 2008, I had two choices – express my disappointment by taking it out on others or deal with it. I, and millions of Americans who voted against Obama, chose to deal with it. We rolled up our sleeves and said “what’s next?”

While the media plays up the numbers of violent anti-Trump protesters with non-stop reporting, the reality is that 65 million Americans voted for Clinton. And only a small handful of them have actively gone out to violently protest (aka riot). The majority are carrying on with their lives.

To those who feel the need to demonstrate their hate for President Trump by destroying businesses, looting, and rioting, all I can say is if you break the law you deserve the just punishment. The immaturity and selfishness demonstrated by those who are violently rioting in response to a loss, is pathetic and something that we should all condemn.

However, to those who oppose Trump but are peacefully dealing with the loss, I want to say to you that I understand how you’re feeling right now. While we disagree on many things, we can all agree that the President has too much power if there is this much fear surrounding a change in leadership.

So what can we do? What should we do? Moving forward, I encourage you to do what we did – immerse yourself in the founding principles that made America the greatest nation in the history of the world. Read the Declaration of Independence and keep Donald Trump accountable to the principles of freedom found there. Do what we did and study the Constitution, know your God-given rights, so that you can defend and assert them.

What you do in response to your emotions defines who you are. So the question is, who do you choose to be?