This is a traumatic time in our country right now. Most people I know are hurt and sickened by the choices of our current administration, and everyone I love is trying to tack themselves down somehow to feel safe and less worried.
Some beautiful things are happening too. While the vitriol and hate that has always burned is now more on the surface of our nation, so is the willingness to show amazing humanity and kindness in the face of fear and heartbreak. Things are cracking wide open, and it seems to be a place to reclaim how we care for each other and for ourselves.
It feels like a time to go back to the drawing board and begin again.—to pick up our weary bones, tear off the cluttered page on top, and smooth our hands over clean paper.
To begin again. And to tell the truth.
It takes examination and honesty before we can see our own blind spots. I don’t mean just being honest about the nuts and bolts of our daily stories, but honest about what has broken us and made us feel the ugly shame that no one else sees.
These things don’t belong to me anymore.
Hatred for what is happening in our country, and instead, focused energy on productive and local ways to be a better leader and helper.
The practice of retracing conversations over and over—combing for my mistakes and feeling shame or regret. or both.
Suitcases of sadness filled with guilt of how I could have helped Benjamin not overdose and die 14 years ago.
The idea that I should be of interest to everyone, and instead, focus with deep curiosity about how I can nurture my inner circle.
Perfect parenting, perfect nutrition, and fitness goals that don’t always work in the days that I have.
The notion that friendships stays the same as we get older (and I still watch for the glorious moments when the calendar breaks open to spend an entire day with a favorite girlfriend).
Age related cosmetic worries about hair, thighs or sags, and instead recognizing the wisdom I bring into the room.
I really miss my dad. I am letting go of the conviction that there was more I could do to cure his sadness before he died.
Things that help:
Speed bumps before reaction, really listening to someone for as long as they need to talk, warm and simple food, a new pen and fresh notebook, loudly playing your favorite song when you were 18, new socks, a bundled walk in the cold morning, a solid cry, a real letter, good coffee from your camping chair outside the tent, and finding the perfect card for someone.