Sometimes I am amazed at how NOT in the moment I can be. For the last 18 months I’ve been waiting for the increasingly divisive and derisive campaign to be OVER, as though THAT was going to save me and end my frustration. My candidate lost. Though I know in my heart that even if she had won, it would not have changed the mood in our divided electorate and nation and that I would still be frustrated.
On top of all the anxiety and frustration, I’ve experienced a deep sense of grief and loss. Not just for what I hoped would occur for our nation, but for my own loss of purpose, wasted time and energy. I’ve been feeling lost in the woods of my own creation, unable to find my path.What a perfect waste of my precious life force to lose connection with my reason for being.
I remind myself that the world is my mirror. Everything I experience is a reflection of something in me.What I see that upsets me deeply is something in me that needs healing. It’s taking courage to look in the mirror, to be brave enough to see all my imperfections, flaws and outright ugliness. It takes equal courage to see my strength and gifts. I’m ready to be brave and rumble with all the emotions that are “up” for me. There is no logical “end” to this blog post, because life is always changing, there are many paths ahead and I’m not in control of most of them. But I can choose who I’m “being” as I navigate what’s next. I can choose from a place of alignment with my core values of kindness and authenticity.
Perhaps that is my sole purpose, to stay in alignment with my core values; to notice what breaks my heart and do something about it; to remember that we are wired for connection and born worthy of love. The simple act of stopping, as others hurry by, to see if the man sitting on the curb needs help, does make a difference in our collective “being”. In my coaching practice, helping others find and heal their “lost” connections, does make a difference in our collective “being”. Noticing when my hatefulness bubbles up and recognizing that my anger can be turned to advocacy, does make a difference in our collective “being”.
There are times when the pain I see in the world hurts so much I simply want to hide, numb, and withdraw. These are also the times when it’s hardest for me to remember to practice self-compassion. When I can love myself through the pain, find solace in a cup of tea, a lap cat or a walk in the woods, my energy and purpose are restored.
I remind myself to stay engaged and not give up — to connect through small acts of kindness and to join with others in large acts of advocacy. The finest impact I can make on the collective “being” is to remember that it all starts with me, with who I’m “being” in the world.