^^ This cloud right here, you guys. ^^
She single-handedly brought me back to center yesterday. And I desperately needed it. My thoughts were reeling and I felt a bit unraveled and in need of a good head clearing so I opted to use a lifeline.
I’d like to phone my friend, Mother Nature, please.
I collapsed into a chair on the back patio and that cloud and I just sat there together. Silently. Well, her silently. Me with relentless and wholly unproductive brain chatter about things like saving the world and being the change and raising kids who aren’t a–holes, and such. You know, small stuff. And as I welcomed more air into my lungs and admired her moving and shifting and melting into the seams of the cobalt sky, I felt a renewed sense of purpose and determination and calm sink deeply into my troubled heart.
Ahhhh, yes. Thank you. I waved at my new friend as she disappeared from view and before standing to get on with my day I took a moment to quietly affirm the one-and-only thing that I am absolutely certain of in life.
We’ll get back to that in a sec.
You see, I want to always notice and honor the good and the kind and the loving. Silver linings are my go-to and eternal optimism is my thing and yes of course I believe in unicorns and when asked to rate my day on a scale of MEH to AMAZING I am the Pollyanna that will always and forever swing for the fences because I am alive. And if you’re reading this *quick fist bump* because that means you are, too. My eyes opened this morning and I’m breathing air and I get to experience this day and seize these moments. Yes, even the hard ones. And I def-in-it-ely fall down and feel exposed and unsure and just ovvvver it sometimes. I believe in unicorns and f-bombs equally. *wink* But, I get to be here. WE GET TO BE HERE. And it is miraculous. Isn’t it?
It is everything and it is enough.
But then, there is all of this other noisy, human-y stuff. You know what I mean? And I am not immune (like at all, folks) to the ugly parts of our existence. The ways we speak to one another without listening and sling wasp nests full of words that sting at anyone and anything that dares to threaten our rightness. How parts of us wear privilege like a suit of armor and a birthright and somehow this has proven over and over AND OVER to actually be a legitimate way to make others feel less than. WHY IS THIS A REAL THING? And the ways we protect and justify this righteousness.
How we READY >> FIRE >> AIM at each other with our thoughts and words and actions from behind tinted windows and then wag our finger and demand that the blame belongs OVER THERE. How we offer an objective lens toward data until and only until the facts no longer defend what we believe to be true. And then all bets are off (hey, memes and reckless insults, that’s your cue).
Our anger is so noisy and overwhelming that we forget why we are here.
We forget what matters.
We forget to lead with love.
Because for every ounce of beauty that exists in our world (and especially in our virtual communities), we create and consume five gallons of ugly. Don’t we? And on this day, I had just seen too much. The overtly wretched that allows one human to assault another and leave her engulfed in flames as he saunters away with nothing but ashes on his swim trunks.
And the easily–tucked-away reality that many of our fellow humans are hurting and desperate and alone and wounded AT THIS VERY MOMENT and, yet, we find ourselves angry and screaming at each other. While people all around our world are vulnerable and afraid and silenced. We attack each other with our fears and anger and need for rightness as though to say, we’ll see your hateful ways and raise you our vitriol. And all of our screaming makes it impossible to HEAR anything. And our tinted windows make it impossible to SEE anything.
Almost every time I read a comments thread a little piece of my soul dies. And I feel helpless to it. All the ugliness.
Perhaps you do, too?
But as I sat there with that cloud, you guys, the stillness and space allowed me to remember what my angry and unsettled mind just couldn’t.
We simply cannot drive out ugliness with more of the same.
Hate in response to hate is a losing game.
Let’s not waste another second allowing anger to guide us, friends. Let’s stop screaming so we can hear what kindness is trying to tell us from underneath all of that noise.
Let’s instead invest every ounce of our collective energy into linking arms with one another and EVERY HUMAN who has been made to feel vulnerable and broken and less than.
Let’s BE kind humans.
Let’s RAISE kind humans.
Let’s CELEBRATE kind humans.
Let’s love one another.