Who am I?

Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.  Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

 

Election day 2017 was almost as traumatic as the presidential election day experience.  This time I walked straight into two dads giving each other the business while their combined tribe of five boy children watched.  I know these guys.  I know these kids.  These folks are friends; the dads have known each other since THEY were in diapers.  In a way, this familiarly on my part made the interaction MORE disheartening than the elderly lady who littered as a protest to others having a different political persuasion.

 

This time I wasn’t in shock; this time I wasn’t going to stand quietly by.

 

But what was I going to do?

 

That is ALWAYS the question in situations like this one. 

 

Let me back up and say that in a few minutes I will stop writing, jump up and run over to our “studio” (a different table in my office) and teach a webinar on DETACHMENT, CODEPENDENCY, and BOUNDARIES.  I do NOT think that if something needs doing it is always my place to do so.  I angst; I work out; I meditate; I write down things I feel and want to do and say and then burn them in my fire pit.  I teach hard things that I almost never want to abide by – but this is what it means to grow up.

 

It’s hard.

 

I am a strange bird.  I am both easily frightened and strangely aggressive when it comes to defending someone I perceive is being taken advantage of.  I am nervous and anxious almost 24/7.  I rarely feel capable but am always defensive when criticized.  My dreams are haunted with worst case scenarios and villains.  I try not to burden others with it, but there it is – it is my reality.  I feel responsible for many things that are objectively speaking NOT mine to do.  Sometimes I get in such a state about those things that I fail to notice the things I am responsible for.  Like making sure we have toilet paper in the house or turning on the stove to cook the Thanksgiving turkey.  Pray for my family.

 

But there is one thing that I have been doing consistently for over 30 years that I stand by unapologetically – I keep peering into God’s word to find answers to my moment-by-moment dilemmas.  I know that the bible is not a magic book of answers; I understand that it is the story of God, the story of us (to quote Sean Gladding).  I’ve read enough of it to have MORE questions than answers from the text at this point in my life.  However.  The scriptures reveal hidden mysteries and sacred truths that can guide us at least toward the light, even if on many days it seems so very pale and dim. 

To be continued…

Looking back, leaning in...

Brothers and sisters, I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me. Philippians 3:13 CEB

 

On election day 2017 I headed out to do my civic duty with dread in my heart.  During the previous presidential election two seemingly lovely ladies with opposing political perspectives caused a scene and it just killed my spirit.  Heading back to the polling precinct felt like returning to a crime scene.  To be clear, it was mainly one of the two that acted up.  One woman was a lovely retired teacher from my children’s school – she was handing out sample ballots for one political party.  She was as sweet and calm and deferential as she had always been as a teacher.  Top drawer classy lady. The other, ahem, well – this happened. 

 

“May I hand you a sample ballot?”  the volunteer inquires to a statuesque woman with expertly coiffed piles of white hair wearing a killer pair of red shoes and a St. John’s suit that looked fresh off the Nordstrom’s full price rack.  In silence, Red heels grabs the ballot, rips it to shreds and throws it on the ground, stomps her foot (not kidding), and harrumphs at the retired teacher lady.  She folds her arms.  She glares.  She sighs.  She calls the volunteer all sorts of names, one of which I had to google to understand. She was WAY older than me – maybe 100?  I thought perhaps she should have had more skill sets than she displayed.  But she had excellent balance in those shoes.

 

I was frozen in my spot, thinking, “Surely she had other options.” For example, how about..

 

“No thank you, I am clear on my voting preferences.”  OR “Hell no!”  OR 

 

“Sure,” takes the sample ballot, holds it until she gets to the nearest trash can and then deposits it where she believes it belongs.  OR

 

“I don’t need the ballot, but I am curious.  Could you tell me why you are out here on this cold, wet, rainy day to support this platform?  I won’t be voting for them, but I am really interested in hearing your perspective.”

 

When did it get so bad that little old ladies no longer led the way in decorum, wisdom and kindness?  That’s my pity-party sentence – now, let’s get down to changing the world one small next right step at a time.

 

To be continued…