Thursday, September 28, 2017
Sure feels like that, anyway. Every time I think things can't get any more surreal, they step it up. The weather events have devastated territories of this country and they are on the bottom of the list of getting taken care of. In Owensboro, KY they rounded up some kids from a school in the gym and told them they had no parents to go home to because they were being deported and then proceeded to call DFS to come take the kids. CHILDREN. Who were born here. The POTUS publicly called football players "Sons of Bitches" because they are peacefully protesting racism. The government is purposefully sabotaging the websites and phone lines for the affordable care act enrollment to try to cause the whole system to break down to prove their point. They are now dismantling the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act and god only knows what else they can get their grimy little hands on. And I am ashamed and embarrassed and afraid. And I don't know how to deal with any of it. Some of it is like watching "Animal Farm" right before my eyes...people that I would never have guessed to be so heartless and cruel and discompassionate...people that I thought I knew.
It feels like a time of transition. People are coming into and going out of my life with a scary regularity. Feelings of disconnect and separation are looming large.
In A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance (1957), Leon Festinger proposed that human beings strive for internal psychological consistency in order to mentally function in the real world. That a person who experiences internal inconsistency tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and so is motivated to reduce the cognitive dissonance: either by changing parts of the cognition, to justify the stressful behavior; or by adding new parts to the cognition that causes the psychological dissonance; and by actively avoiding social situations and contradictory information that are likely to increase the magnitude of the cognitive dissonance.
The word dissonance keeps niggling around in the back of my brain. I am off balance, confused and easily annoyed. I can't bear the thought of what is happening in this country. People that I love are being affected by the roll backs on civil rights, the climate of fear and the extreme racism that's going on. I am ready to cry at the drop of a hat. I want to live somewhere else. But I can't. And it's frustrating and it hurts my heart and I probably shouldn't be writing when I feel like this, but there ya go-- and here I am. I want to scream.
Like many, all I can do is what I can do...
This is in the flower pot at the end of my driveway facing the road. I'm surprised no one has defaced it or destroyed it or taken it. I can speak up. I can make calls to DC and I can encourage others who are as afraid as I am. I can attend rallies and vote and do whatever small things I can. And it isn't enough and I know it. But giving in to hopelessness is not the answer either. Hating people who hate people isn't it either. Acknowledging that fear is our number one problem is part of the solution. And speaking out against those who spew hate and stir up all this emotionally charged fear based behavior that's going on across this country... my heart is breaking..and I don't know what else to say.
I went to the doctor Monday for a shoulder/neck issue I am having that won't be resolved no matter what I do and so I am getting an MRI tomorrow. Could be a possible labrum tear. She told me I have a "quiet" heart murmur. That's news. Either she's wrong, or my heart really is breaking....(it occurs to me that maybe I should stop using those words). My guts are in an uproar a lot. I am having headaches. Things that I rarely have to deal with, and I am chalking it up to the stress in the world that I am experiencing. I guess I need to pray more and meditate more and spend more time in the quiet. Cycles of spiritual attention seem to be the best recourse for me when I get to feeling like this. Feeling the need to drop out and recharge isn't always convenient--there's a lot going on with the people in my life these days and I feel a responsibility to be available for them too. All about balance. All about not letting the fear of what might happen get bigger than my trust that everything is happening exactly the way it is supposed to. I see people pulling together. People taking a stand who normally would never rock the boat. People looking to love as the answer. The Course in Miracles tells me that a miracle is just a shift in perception. Can I shift my perception enough to expect a miracle in the midst of all this hate and fear ? That book talks a lot about fear as well. I would do well to get my book out and start studying it again.
And in the meantime, I cook and I can and I garden and I try to do the next right thing. What's in front of me ? What am I grateful for ? (A little AA practice of writing a gratitude list every morning, to keep gratitude in the front of my brain and not letting fear crowd out the good stuff.) Of loving the people I love, and loving even more the ones that I don't. Of trying to see everyone through God's eyes, of remembering that humans are fallible and afraid, no matter which side of the line they stand on. And taking it all just one day at a time. I got through today and maybe I can get through tomorrow too.
And remembering the words of my dear friend Mary Arnold
"Life comes at us like a sledgehammer sometimes.
No time to duck."