I have been feeling dazed and confused. A slight improvement over angry and afraid. It’s not about what side you are on anymore. The current wave of hate speech and vandalization will make anyone uneasy, regardless of who you voted for. We are told that it has always existed. It’s nothing new, like that is some kind of comforting consolation. But there is one thing we can do and that is to sit with the truth. This sucks. That’s the truth. For anyone who is a victim, is scared or vulnerable. It sucks. It sucks if it happens to your kid. In your neighborhood. It just sucks. And the suckiness is exhausting.
I hear the call to be vigilant. There is a sudden responsibility. A weightiness. But wait, there have always been people that have needed to fight. It has been life itself for many people. We are just waking back up to the needs of others and I have to believe that the awareness will be a beautiful thing.
Today began with a drag, both the kid and the cats kept me up last night. I was going to grocery shop and come right home. That was at 8am. But the purchase of my Christmas wreath with red berries from Trader Joes led me on a long and playful morning in search of cranberry and balsam scented candles, gingerbread houses and sparkly lights. It felt so good for my soul. I let the magic in.
I thought a lot this past weekend about how to go forward. My brain chattered on about what I should be doing, feeling. I had just started on the trail with my son, feeling the adventure and warmth of the last mild day of the fall. The sun was shining as I walked with my favorite little person. My brain had stopped churning for a moment. I felt happy. And then, I felt guilty. Yes, guilt. As if somehow my happiness was dishonorable. I was stunned by that concept. It brought up more questions. Is my anger needed right now in order to validate what’s going on? Is the current state of affairs dependent on my restlessness and despair? Do I need to be anxious as a show that I care? That I am deeply worried? It went on and on. I didn’t have any answers so I just kept hiking.
It was an interesting conflict in me. It came up again as I sat in meditation. How do I engage? How can I be an active participant in life, when I really just want to sit here in peace?
And in true form, although it still surprises me every time, I get my answers. I bring my questions and concerns to my little square Persian rug. The card I pulled from my Rumi oracle deck was called The Cloak of Christ. I thought it was so sweetly fitting because I had just added my father’s picture of Jesus laughing to my altar.
In the school of humanity, when you become intimate with God, you reside on the king’s throne and teach the angels the nature of the divine.
The card’s message went on to say, “Remember, your reactions are a symptom of your exhaustion and a sign that you need respite, sanctuary, restoration. They are not a sign that something must be done as much as a sign that something must be received, allowed. Sometimes, we just need permission to break down, to really let go, to come apart and be dissembled, so that we can break through, be lifted up, and come together in a new, more spiritually coherent and loving form to move forward.”
So, for anyone who is reading this post, maybe it is okay for the time being to lay the burden down. Trust is hard and almost seems impossible right now. But there are some things that you can trust. We can do what is in our control and act with kindness to ourselves, to those we love and those who are strangers. And to do that work, we need strength, yes. But we also need energy and a healthy perspective.
The other day, my son noticed a downtrodden man sitting outside in the parking lot. I pulled the car over and watched as he walked up to him and gave him some money and told him to have a great day. He came back to the car beaming and emboldened by his actions. For the remaining car ride home he wondered out loud what the man would do with the money. He asked me if maybe the man would buy wine, no doubt because he knows that’s what his mama would do! He wondered if we should build a room for him in our house. He gave me hope in the goodness in the children we are raising now.
Maybe it’s okay that I don’t know how to save the world. Can I teach my son the importance of reaching one person? Is it my responsibility to teach him that love is the better choice than hate? Yes and yes.
I put that photo of Jesus on my altar as a tribute to one of the greatest teachers of humanity and to another great teacher. A man who knew more than anyone I’ve ever known about being fearless, selfless and happy. A person who always chose love. My father. He would have been turning 73 in a few days and he still would have been the wisest and most genuine man I ever met in real life.
So, I am not burying my head in the sand. But I think it is okay to rest. It is okay to feed our spirit. To feel peace and joy. We aren’t in these bodies very long. It seems there is so much to fit in. So much despair and so much peace. That is the duality of life. The world is spinning and we will keep putting up a good fight. There is always something worth fighting for. There always has been.
Happy Thanksgiving and thank you for reading!