Oh my friend, I am up late once again not being able to sleep (becoming a “thing” these days…), and my heart is conflicted about what is happening in the world at the moment. Probably like most of you, I have spent part of my day today watching the news about the terrorist attacks in Brussels earlier in the day, and listening to both sides of the coin talk about the reasons all Muslims should either be policed and imprisoned, or welcomed with open arms to all countries. When I hear some of the hatred that comes from other people’s mouths I am astonished. I mean truly, mouth-open-wide, eyes-wide-open astonished!
Now before I go any further, I want to make it crystal clear that this blog post and my words are neither politically or religiously motivated (frankly, I don’t have strong feelings or opinions for either of those topics, but we can save that for a later discussion….)….. but my words are strictly motivated by my own connection to others as a human being and nothing else. I mean really, what happened to the genuine care and concern type of feelings for another human being, stranger or not? Why does who we worship, or what the color of our skin is, or who we choose to love in our private moments matter in the larger scheme of life? How have we gotten so far off course from our core humanness that we choose hate over love, and harm over help?
I mean, I get it, there is some scary shit going on out there. I definitely don’t have my head in the sand. But when we generalize an entire religion, or an entire race, or an entire ANYTHING, then we begin to lose our sense of human connection, and that is tragic. Yes, are there evil people doing unspeakable things in the world? Absolutely! Do I think every Muslim should be persecuted because of fanatic lunatics using their religion as a guise to do harm? Absolutely NOT! And although this post was sparked by the terrorist attacks that have been happening lately, and my confusion for such disdain for an entire sector of people, my heart hurts for all of the division and generalized hatred that is happening more and more.
Hatred is not new, I realize that. But we have been shown over and over again in history how devastating it can be when one group of people are polarized from the rest of society…..have we not learned anything? Are we so prideful in our own beliefs that we refuse to acknowledge another human as valuable, based strictly on the fact that they are…. HUMAN?!!
Don’t get me wrong, I want every single terrorist in this world to be annihilated. That is not up for debate in my mind. I also want every person who murders someone for the color of their skin, or who harms a homosexual person for loving someone of the same sex, or who judges people for not believing in their same religion to also be held accountable. Absolutely I do. But, I personally choose not to hold an entire population of people accountable for the terrible actions of those who choose to do harm. I just can’t rectify that belief in my head. Call me crazy. Call me in denial. Call me liberal. Call me whatever makes you feel better about your own feelings, but I just don’t see how viewing an entire population of people as “all the same” as okay…at all!
Here IS what I choose to believe:
There are evil acts happening in this world every day. There are evil people in this world. But there are also kind and loving people in this world. There is joy in this world. There are volunteers working around our globe every day trying to make our world a better place. There are doctors searching for cures to heal people. There are random acts of kindness happening every minute that don’t get captured on cell phones. There are beautiful places in the world that deserve to be traveled to. There are cultures of people out there who welcome strangers with open arms. There are babies being born every day. New beginnings happen EVERY DAY. Yes, I choose to focus on all of that, even in the midst of the devastation happening not only in the global world, but in my own city, and for sure, at the moment, my own country.
I choose to focus on the sunrise of each day knowing it is a chance for me (and everyone else) to do better. To choose wiser. To be kinder. To love stronger. To connect deeper. Again, call me living in a fantasy world, but if choosing to look at humanity in a loving and respectful light is wrong, I certainly don’t ever want to be right.
Now, I realize I have probably ruffled some of your feathers, my friend, and that is okay. I am not asking for you to believe in the way I do, or to act differently. I am just expressing what has been stirring around in me today, and could not be contained in my head alone. I respectfully appreciate your own opinions, but please don’t attack me, or anyone else who may respond to this post with their own feelings. That is just not what I am ever about.
Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you, and if any of you are saying, “Girl, I Hear Ya” on this one…..well, “Girl (or guy), I Hear YOU TOO”!!
Maybe now I can get some sleep. 😉 Sweet dreams my friend.
Always respectfully yours,
I did two things last week that were totally out of my comfort zone: I submitted blog posts to the Huffington Post, and I also submitted an application to Elizabeth Gilbert’s (you know, my girl crush and idol…), new upcoming “Big Magic Lessons” podcast. WHAT??!! When I think back on it, I am still a little shocked I put myself out there in that way, but I am also A LOT proud of myself that I put myself out there in that way!
Let’s face it, in the end, we all have to be our own advocate, am I right?! We all have to learn to be our biggest cheerleader and supporter, and not just our biggest critic. This type of thinking does not come naturally to me however. I think this is why I write what I do, why I say what I do to you, and why I encourage you the way I do, because the first person that needs to hear all of it is ME! I don’t do what I do to “save” anyone, or to dictate to anyone on how to live your best life, but just the opposite. So much of what I write about is directly out of my own life experiences, a way for me to process the experience, a way for me to stay sane, and if it resonates with anyone else, then that is a bonus! A genuine connection on life’s challenges and celebrations is what I desire most with people, and I am so glad GIHY gives me a platform to create those connections, but everything I write about is helpful to me first. I mean that in the most loving and respectful way, my friend. In fact, it MUST be that way, because if I wrote just for your benefit, then that would be pretty presumptuous of me, thinking I know exactly what you need to hear. It would presume that I know what is best for your life, and that will never be the case. I do what I do for me, and if it is beneficial to you, then my heart smiles. But, why does it feel so selfish when I talk about doing things that put me first, and not anyone else? Well, it just does…..guess I will just have to sit with it for awhile, knowing it is how things should be, and I am just not the personality to automatically believe it. (anyone else…Girl, I Hear Ya?!….) 😉
So, as you begin your new week, I want you to see where you need to put yourself first, and be your own advocate. Is there a new job you want to apply for but don’t feel you are qualified enough? Apply! Is there a promotion at your current job that you know you ready for, but you are waiting for someone else to tell you it is time? Speak up for yourself. Do you have a secret desire to create something, (ex., write a book, sing karaoke in public, make something to sell at craft fairs, I don’t know…so many things) but you are waiting for someone else to give you “permission” or tell you that you are good enough to do whatever it is? Here is the real deal: YOU ARE THAT PERSON!!!
Being your own advocate is not selfish or prideful. Yes, it may not feel natural to some of us, but it is necessary. Believe in you (I sure do!). Step out into the unknown this week, and go for what you want. Create a life you desire. After all, as I have said so many times before, regret is the worst thing to feel, and I don’t know about you, but I am really tired of feeling regret.
So, I applied last week to some writing projects, and I will continue to do so. What are you going to do for yourself this week, my friend? If you get fearful, just know I am standing side by side with you, cheering you on, and being fearful myself. We are in this life together.
PS. Oh, and I will keep you posted on if I get picked for either of the things I applied for last week…fingers crossed!
My friend, how have you been? I have missed writing to you, but this past week I decided to give myself time to calm my mind, and just be present in the moments with my family as we enjoyed Spring Break. Erik, the kids and I had a wonderful 5 days together as we made a road trip to Taos, New Mexico, and took to the slopes as we have done the previous 3 years. All and all another successful family trip, and also a chance for me to get out of my head for a bit (well, as much as possible anyway….I tend to stay there quite often, but I am working on it….).
Taking time to calm our minds is not only beneficial, but necessary. Our thoughts are actually one of the few things we can control in life, but so many times we let the thoughts control us. Our minds race from one scenario to another, we jump to conclusions, we over-analyze, and sometimes our thoughts can paralyze us from taking a next step. We often become prisoners of our own minds. THIS is why it is imperative that we purposefully take a time out from our thoughts and “just be”.
This is not easy to do however. Especially in our society today, where we have been programmed that idle time is wasted time. If we are not doing, then we must be planning. Always in motion. Always thinking of what comes next. And frankly, always stressed out! I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure this way of living is not why we are all here on earth, and it is time for us to get off the hamster wheel, physically AND mentally.
So, how do we calm the racing thoughts? Well, I truly can’t answer that for you, and I really don’t have a great answer for myself, but I do know it has to be very intentional, and sometimes I actually have to tell myself out loud to let the thoughts go. I am worth (you are worth!) the freedom that goes along with “just being”. It is more than okay to know that you did not accomplish anything in a particular day except that you enjoyed yourself. When was the last time that happened my friend? Pretty sure, you can’t even remember……and that is unacceptable.
My challenge for you this weekend is to give yourself some time to be idle. Release the anxiety, and get out of your head. Take time to go outside. Take time to re-connect with friends and family. Take inventory of what is keeping you up at night, and ask yourself if it is really worth it. From my experience, 9 out of 10 things I re-play in my head are not even real, but just over-exaggerated versions of what is really going on, so why should I allow them to keep me from enjoying the here and now?! Why should you? Guess what, DON’T!
Take time to calm your mind my friend. You will thank yourself for it later. I promise.
Now, I know this is not the first time you have heard this, but little friendly reminders never hurt. 🙂
Big love from me to you,
Happy Monday! As you start this new week my friend, I want to remind you not to let the negativity seep into your soul. Focus on your own life this week, and stop looking around to see if and how many people might be watching you, or waiting (and some hoping) that you fail in your endeavors. Don’t be anxious when you start thinking bigger. Don’t give the critics what they want…..a reaction. Keep doing you. Stay focused on what you want your day, your week, your life to look like and go straight in that direction.
Just a little friendship love note and reminder from me to you (and to myself!) 🙂
Be awesome today!