Side by Side

Side by Side

You don’t need to get over your losses and let go of your grief, before you can allow yourself joy.

Grief and happiness are not mutually exclusive. Healing does not eradicate loss and create happiness in its place. Healing makes room for both.

Let your sadness be as it is, and then let happiness in as well. Let them sit side by side, as friends.

Responsible freedom

A note on freedom:

Our Covid driving test

The first thing we learn in Drivers Ed is that driving a car is a privilege, not a right. Why is this?

Because the moment we get behind the wheel of a car, we have suddenly become a potentially lethal weapon.

We have been asked to make sacrifices now; by wearing masks and being thoughtful of our distance from others. Why is this?

Because with this virus, by sharing space with others, we have each suddenly become a potentially lethal weapon. We don’t mean to be, but we are.It is that simple.

Nothing pretty about it, but nothing personal about it either.

Here in the United States we are incredibly blessed to have great freedom, comfort and privilege that many in the world do not. But, as our forefathers and foremothers knew well, our freedom did not come for free

.For those of us who have been fortunate enough to never before lose our freedom, this can be a shocker; yes, sometimes freedom requires sacrifice. But the rewards of making sacrifices for others is great too; it challenges us to raise the bar. When we make it through this tough time, we can in the future take pride in the fact that we have become better people than we were before.

Just like earning our driver’s license, we need to demonstrate we will use our freedom well, with compassion, care and respect for each other. Just like renewing our driver’s license, in order to preserve our freedom, we must consistently use it responsibly, in an adult way that sometimes puts the value of other’s lives and safety over our own need for comfort and convenience.

We are taking a great big test right now. In order to pass this test, we have put aside some of our personal needs and preferences in order to care for others. In the face of the sacrifices others have made in the name of our freedom, this is a small price to pay.If we, as free individuals, and as a free country, cannot do this, no matter how much we demand and proudly display our freedom, we disrespect all who gained it for us.




Downriver

Downriver

Your energy is like a river in the spring. Ice and branches from winter build up to create a dam. Pressure needs to build up behind the dam before it will break free. In life, when things are not moving, your instinct is to try to make things happen faster. But sometimes pushing is not the answer. Sometimes waiting is a necessary process of building energy.

During this time of waiting, your only task is to clear the way down river. Do what you need in your life to simplify and put things in order. Take this time to do all of the mundane things that make a life run smoothly.

Let the pressure build up behind your dam. When it all breaks free, your river will roar through in a torrent of strong and clean energy, with all the velocity needed to clean out old debris.

Remember that as with all things in nature, Spirit has its cycles and its wisdom. Use this time to take care of all of the things in your life that need to be put in order. In this way you will open the way downriver, clearing the way for what is next.

Let Dreams Change

Let Dreams Change

Sometimes we can become trapped by an old dream.

In this time of change, don’t put blinders on once you have decided where you are going. Always see what is in the periphery too. If you find that you are being pulled in a different direction from your old dream; if you are lamenting the loss of ‘what was’, or if you are struggling to stay rigidly true to a dream that is no longer viable, rather than convincing yourself of its validity, concede your debate, and listen to what is in this new and different silence.

This is not defeat.

This is humility.

This is grace.

This is our evolution.

As the world around you changes, let your dreams change too. Don’t give up on your dreams, but at the same time, don’t allow the shrine you have put around them become impenetrable armor.

Don’t let a stale dream become your prison.

A Million Dollars

A Million Dollars

Don’t punish yourself

For wanting love.

Don’t wallow

In isolation.

Your loneliness

Is not extraordinary.

Wanting love is

The most ubiquitous thing there is.

I would bet you

A million dollars

That I, that we, have all

Felt exactly as you feel

Right now.

So go ahead.

Feel lonely.

Maybe you are.

But you are not

(A million dollars, remember)

Alone.

So don’t add hurt to hurt. 

Don’t lose love

all over again

By keeping it

From yourself.

Dear Life

Dear Life.

You annoy me sometimes.

I really wish you would let me sleep in, be a little less demanding of my time, and be a bit more generous with the wallet.
Not to complain, life, but you could be a bit more forgiving of my mistakes,
And maybe be more quiet when I am feeling tired.
I really wish you could be like the lives I see in the movies, and be perpetually cheerful and perky, and have happy quirky endings all the time.
And life, would it be so hard to provide me with the stuff I really want to eat so that when I open the fridge for the tenth time a giant bowl of chocolate pudding will just appear there on the top shelf, instead of that half bag of dried up baby carrots?
And, on that subject, life, why on earth did you make me fall in love with chocolate pudding and then take away my youthful speedy metabolism? That was just mean.

Dearest life, I really like you, but I do sometimes wish that you did not have a mind of your own. Sometimes I wish you were different. I really wish that you could see that I always know what is right, including what is right for you. You should really see error of your ways, see that I know how you should be, and comply.

But life, that being said, I know that it is not going to happen. You are you, and much as I try to make you what I want you to be, you are going to go ahead and be what you are.

And life, I know that though I roll my eyes a lot, and stomp around and swear and get whiny and cranky, I know that you are the only one for me.

And I do have to admit that you have your moments.
Like sunsets, and sunrises, and the hummingbird feeders that I put out today,
And dogs, and the ocean, and the smell of seaweed,
And the stinky unidentifiable things on the beach
that the dogs love to roll in,
so that I have to leave all the car windows open on the way home.

Clean fuzzy socks are nice,
and underwear that still has a little bit of elastic left in
the waistband.
I really like my bicycle, and the calf
That least against his mother’s flank
And watches me ride by in the morning
With his wide brown
interested eyes.

And I guess I do still get chocolate pudding
Once in a while.

So I guess I have to admit, that despite all of your
Annoying habits, your unpredictable ways,
I do like quite a lot about you.

More importantly,
I guess that you, life,
are the only one I have.
So I guess we are stuck with each other, aren’t we?

Sorry
for all the complaining.
I just needed to get it out of my system,
So that I can enjoy your company again today.

Friends?

Our front line

Our Front Line

We have raked every leaf off the lawn, painted all the bathrooms, relined the kitchen cabinets, vacuumed the car in places it has never been vacuumed before, cleaned out our basements and reorganized our closets. There is now a giant pile of garbage bags waiting expectantly in many garages for Goodwill to open again.

Now what?

What do we do when we have run out of projects into which we can channel our fears?

If you are not a health care worker, or a delivery person, or a grocery clerk, or a teacher, or a parent of caged and bored teenagers, what is your front line?

We each have a part to play.

There are those out there who are more scared than we are.
We can be courageous for them.

This could be our front line.

There are people in this country who are suffering more than we are right now. There are many people out there, outside our borders, who will not be getting a check deposited in their checking account, ever. There are currently aid workers in third world countries who are bracing for the inevitable, in places where hunkering down will have to be in a tent or a cardboard box, and there are no PPE’s or hospitals to receive them.

From the comfort of our living room, we can be courageous for these people. We can put aside our anxiety and our sadness for our own losses, and we can become bigger people than we have been.

If we are livid with the current leadership or lack of it, we can stop inflating them with our attention, both positive and negative, and instead harness that anger and quietly put it to work.

The best revenge will be to use our power to disempower those who have ruled in self-serving and irresponsible ways. We can do that by ignoring all the tweets, and instead put our attention to better use; come up with new and creative solutions.

But a mind in fear is not a creative mind. Creativity and innovation require open and courageous thought. Courage does not require a lack of fear, but a choice to accept that we have fear and keep going anyway.

This could be our front line.

If we do this, if we become steadfast in our courage even when we feel fear, we will not have a parade for our contribution.

But two or five or ten years from now, each of us will be able to look on this time and say, we, together overcame this, despite the failures of our leaders. We individually chose to be courageous and compassionate, it brought out the best in us, and we have become better people and a better country for it.

This could be our front line.