I am finding these times disturbing. The uncertainty and dismay hang around in the back of my mind like drunken party guests who refuse to leave. There’s no talking reason to them. No interrupting their disruptive nature with quiet, measured words of calm reassurance that it will all be okay. If they just go home to bed everything will look better in the morning. Going home to bed is the last thing they want to do! They want to party like there’s no tomorrow.
I think the disruptive partying going on in my head these past few weeks kind of believes there might be no tomorrow.
It’s okay. I haven’t resorted to drinking too much. Except… my drink of choice is ‘The News’. I circle back to it again and again throughout the day as if just one more drink will make it all come clear. Will make it all go away.
I’m a little drunk on disbelief right now. It hasn’t all gone away.
And so, I head to the studio because, whenever I am feeling disgruntled or unfocused, time in the studio pulls me out of disbelief, dismay and uncertainty. It brings me back.
To myself. To the moment. To beauty.
It is where I desire most to be present.
Years ago, when I was in the beginning days of healing from a relationship that almost killed me, I often caught myself saying to myself, “I can’t believe he…” “I can’t believe I…”
I had to stop myself from saying, “I can’t believe…”
The “I can’t believe” was a crutch. It was a mindblock that was keeping me trapped in despair and anxiety. It was a cop-out phrase that held me captive to its disenfranchising nature. Saying, “I can’t believe” meant I didn’t have to face reality and most importantly, The Truth.
And to heal, I had to face the truth and deal with that. Not the make believe.
In these times, I often hear people saying, “Can you believe this is happening?”
My response has become, “I have to.”
Playing the game of make believe, buying into disbelief, is too dangerous.
But what can I dooooo? the voice of fear and disbelief cries out within.
Today, on someone’s IG feed I saw a meme that made me wonder…
“I’m not sure if I should wear a mask, buy a gun or a generator.”
Someone recommended the generator and gave them advice on what type of guns to buy.
That buying a mask was not mentioned astounds me (I have many and wear them diligently). But, the reality is that for some, not wearing one is the option of their choice.
That buying a gun was considered an option to resolve the uncertainty of these times also astounded me. But, the reality is that for some, it is.
And as to the generator? Well, power goes out so why not?
Except, I think the generator option might be based on something more insidious than a storm downing power lines.
And I look out of my window at the river flowing by, the last leaves of autumn clinging to the almost bare limbs of the trees that line the riverbank. I watch a squirrel race along the fence line and take a flying leap onto the bird feeder trying desperately to grab the last seeds as they fall.
A few cars pass over the bridge. A flock of geese fly by. Beaumont the Sheepadoodle lies under my desk and watches it all.
And I breathe and remind myself that I must trust.
Trust in this moment. Trust in the universe. Trust in myself and this beautiful world around me.
And I breathe again.
I struggle to understand those who think mask-wearing fits in the same box as buying a gun because… I can’t believe people believe a gun will keep them safe.
Fact is. Some people do.
It is my disbelief that is my problem.
And the only way to resolve my problem is to allow compassion to be my guide.
The path to peace of mind is found in the very things I believe to be essential to create a more kind and loving world – Tolerance. Empathy. Respect. Compassion. Fairness. Equality. Acceptance. Truth. Trust. Love.
Not just for those who think like me or look like me or act like me. For everyone.
It’s hard to live in that space when I’m judging, criticizing, condemning the spaces I can’t believe are also present.
They are all present in the here and now. And it is here, in the here and now, that I must find my peace of mind, my understanding, my compassion and my joy.
And so, I go for a walk in nature. I dance in my studio and spill paint everywhere. I read and write and watch the river flow by and I breathe. Deeply. Filling my body, mind and spirit with life-giving oxygen.
I do the things I know work for me and trust that in so doing, I am adding a little bit of joy and beauty into the world around me. Beauty that will create peace of mind and heart within and all around me. Beauty that will remind everyone I encounter on my path of the power of Love to bring us closer together. To create bridges of understanding, tolerance, unity, dignity, fairness, joy…
And, held captive within is powerful embrace, to remind each of us of our human capacity to Love one another. Fearlessly. Fiercely. Freely.