Happy Holidays everyone. As this year comes to a close I sit here and realize that my neck feels broken. Whiplash from looking back on the last 12 months. All the things I had hoped for just one year ago. All the things that right now feel, for lack of a better way of putting it, wilted.
And who do I blame? Cause there’s a lot of that going on right now. Too much. In fact, it’s all I see. Everyone seems to be busying themselves with the work of pointing fingers. Laying blame.
The consensus? 1. The world is on fire and we are all going down. 2. If you don’t take a side, on whatever the issue may be, you are the problem. 3. All the people on the opposing side are sheep (Well, baaaaa, because by this formula I guess we are all gonna get eaten by the big bad Wolf), 4. Compassion and empathy has left the building, 5. We are now absolutely defined by our skin color, our sex, our religion, our sexual orientation, our voting record. Ad nauseam. Everything BUT our hearts.
Get a grip America.
We have become the most self centered nation in the world. I say that, not to judge, but to point out the obvious. We are one of the richest countries in the world and we are blessed to enjoy freedoms that a majority of the rest of the world lacks.
I’m not naive, I get that we have serious problems. But as far as I can tell, our plan to deal with them has turned into every man for him or herself. Everyone is a self important martyr for their particular cause.
We were driving in the car the other day and one of my three year olds said, “Icky tincky, Mama. What that smell?” I legitimately wanted to answer, “That would be the smell of pomp and hypocrisy my love.”
If you really care that much, do something useful. Join an organization. Get involved on the ground level. Study, learn more about the issue. Both sides. Not just what you think it’s about. If your idea of being involved is posting on social media, please shut up. Because let me tell you what this avenue of protest has become…
You are just adding to an already loud, incoherent, indiscernible, unloving, ineffective arena. You are creating division. And anyone that has ever really fought for a cause knows that you don’t change the world, change peoples hearts and minds by being someone that is divisive.
For a month leading up to the election I took a break from Facebook. Why? Because I realized that I did not want to go to jail or end up in the Psych ward at the hospital. I was drowning and had to reach out to my husband and therapist for help.
I had bought the lie.
Hope was gone. Everyone in the world was picking sides and I was left lost. Abandoned. Out in no man’s land. Refusing to choose between all of the devils. Of any issue. Not just politics.
I watched as relationships of dear family and friends have been torn to pieces. There’s no room for sensible dialogue or a differing of opinions anymore. Fear has won.
Dear fear, f@ck you.
Two days before the election I had a massive relapse in my journey with mental health. A new medication I was given had a severe reaction with my current regiment. What resulted was a psychotic break. I ended up in the bathroom with a knife to my wrists. It was terrifying.
Yes. You read that right. Welcome to my life.
I like to think that in the same way super heroes have special powers, mine is staying alive. Literally. People think I’m joking when I say that. I’m not. My disease is real. And it can be fatal. Ask any person who has lost a loved one to suicide.
I do not remember a time I have not wanted to be dead since I was a very little girl. I vividly remember being about 4 or 5, sitting in our home in Bangkok, and thinking about the hopelessness of life. The, “What is the point?” of it all.
And the worse the world gets. The harder people become. The harsher the circumstances around me. The more tender my heart seems to become. My inability to understand all the bitterness. The glaring lack of love. Especially from people I expect it from.
So here is my 99 cents. Bank it. Or don’t.
Get off of social media. For the love of all that is good and holy. Remember what it means to be a human being. Make a phone call. To someone who you love but has now become the supposed enemy. Go outside. Take a walk. Make human contact.
Your life is not a war zone. Unless you are in Aleppo or Afghanistan. You are not a martyr. Everyone has opinions. What you think does not make you exceptional. What you DO does.
Spend time with people. Actual face time.
Learn how to listen again. Not pretend you’re listening while you think of what you are going to say next. But actually listen. Try and understand. With empathy. To put yourself in the other person's shoes. Consider why they may think the way they do.
Pick up a dictionary and look up the word compromise. Seriously. Life is not Burger King. You don’t get to have it your way all the time. Be okay with meeting in the middle. Be a white flag carrying peacemaker.
Don’t light the match and then cry, “Fire!” when it all hits the fan. Be accountable. For everything. Your words and actions matter. All of them.
Don’t be a hypocrite. Please. If you are a Christian, don’t preach love from behind your pulpit and then spend your time being a troll on social media. That is gross. If you are a liberal, don’t spout non discrimination rhetoric and then refuse to hear anyone that thinks different than you. You are the very problem you are trying to fight.
Get some humility. Apply it. You can have a cause. Work for it. And not have to shout, “Look at what I’m doing everyone,” every five minutes online. Start volunteering somewhere. And tell no one. Do it because it’s the right thing.
I am raising twin three year olds and it has occurred to me that we expect more from our children than we do from ourselves anymore. The Golden Rule is now void. We have become a nation of babies who throw a fit anytime the wind doesn’t blow our way.
Cause the rest of the world is watching. Watching the entitled west. And we look ridiculous right now. And all of your wasted hours, and mine, trying to be the social media police are for nothing. It changes nothing but you. It makes us all trolls.
Last year my end of the year blog was about peace and love and hope. Channeling my inner hippie, I guess. This year all I want is CONTACT. For people to start engaging again. Getting together. Looking each other in the eyes. Holding hands. Hugging. Dialoguing.
Start with, “How are you, friend?” Family. Job. Health. You know. The basics.
Instead of focusing on everything you think is wrong in the world right now, I challenge you to stop and recognize what is right. Beautiful. Good. Blessed.
Because I’m alive. And right now I’m just really thankful for that. And thankful that I get to see and know all of you for another day. Even if we are different in every possible way. I will still keep my door open for you. Invite you to my table. Unconditionally.
This year end I pray for unity. For restoration. For relationship.
At the beginning of this season of Advent, I think about a true martyr who did have a cause. A voice. And somehow we have gotten so far away from it that it hurts. Even if you aren't a Christian, we can all still embrace the radical calling of Jesus. The person that He was. He was the original anti religion, anti government force of nature. And his message was simple. And not owned by any person or organization. It’s universal.
Love. Forgiveness. Get some. Give some.
Blessings to you and yours.