My therapist recently tasked me with establishing a safe place in my mind to aid some work we are doing. I think it might be Lowes. I love that place.
One of my dearest friends gifted me with a weekend stay at a spa nestled on the edge of a gorgeous state park not even two hours from home. My bucket has been beyond empty for some time. Those closest to me were all insisting I stop, breathe, take a break, retreat. My body, emotions, and mental health have been screaming for something to give. This was the view from my room at sunset last night. I woke this morning after a 12 hour sleep. Just finished a chapter of Brene Brown and a cup of hot tea, and am now on my way to a foot soak. Grateful, I am. Grateful.
I love you. Yes, you over there. You, too. YOU ARE LOVED. I love you even if I strongly disagree with you. I love you if we see things eye to eye. I am angry, devastated, confused, disillusioned, even triggered in my trauma. But I am fighting not to let those emotions keep me from the call to love and kindness. Hate met with hate can never create love. Hate met with hate cannot create the kind of change we desire. Those who are angry are due your anger. I'm angry too. Those who are afraid, you have every, legitimate right to feel that. How could you not be? I see your fear, and I will stand for you. Those who mourn, I mourn with you. Those who feel justified in your winning vote and feel attacked in the aftermath, I see you. Those who are triggered and on the edge of your trauma, hang on, breathe. You're not alone. Many of us are hurting, and sadly, hurt people hurt people. Don't go low. Go high.
Wherever you are in the wide spectrum, be there. Sit with it, honor it. Take your time. If it lasts 4 years, so be it. Be where you are. But please, I implore you to choose kindness. All of you. Choose empathy. Every single beautiful, valuable, one of you. Choose love. At the end of the day, we are all in this together. People. Humans. We have so much more in common than we ever realize. We all deserve love and kindness. Even those who are incapable of seeing our perspective and those who are incapable of being kind. Even those people deserve love and kindness.
My friend Daniel Walker and I wrote and recorded this song. I had planned a fancy release for it, but last night I thought maybe now is the time. My hope is that we can fill the internet with songs such as this. Songs that point us to the better parts of our nature. All of us.
Hi friends.... Just wanted to say "out loud" to those survivors who understand: It's okay if you're on edge and triggered this week. I think many of us are. This week has been a lot. A whole lot to process. While it's so very necessary and welcome to bring the issues and stories to light, there's no denying how raw and real and intensely personal it feels to those who have walked through the trauma first hand. Take care of yourselves. Be good to you. Ask for help. Journal, walk, write, go for a run, have a cup of tea and breathe. Don't forget to eat. Practice radical self-care. Talk to a trusted source about what it's bringing up for you. Whatever you choose to do, please don't sit behind a screen scrolling and isolating and full of terror. Turn it off. Reach out to someone in real life. Take a break from the onslaught. You are worth it. You deserve care and love.
If you know someone who has experienced sexual trauma, this might be a good time to delicately, respectfully and with kindness check in with them.
Matisse and the little fairy. She carried a pad and pencil so she could "take notes about the art." Her brother pointed at every piece suggesting it was a dog.
Just now, I thought Bea was stalling (some more) and not getting in the bath. I stopped and watched as she put her hands in the water and then rubbed it on her legs. When I said, "What are you doing?" She said, "I'm getting myself ready to get in. You know, like the Olympics."
We were weeks into the not sleeping. And we had a newborn. So no one was sleeping. The grown ups were getting testy, irritable. We were desperate for rest and an answer to what was causing Bea’s sleep disturbance. Our worries for her increased on a daily basis. I talked to other moms, even ones who worked with kids for a living:
“It’s a big transition,” they said.
“Give her a few more weeks,” they said.
“Developmentally if she’s still struggling with adjusting to school after thirty days, that’s out of normative ranges,” they said.
Thirty days came and went. She turned three. “Is this just three?” I thought....
Every so often, children mysteriously don’t sleep. You learn this lesson pretty early on when they’re babies. The first night of any sleep glitch is a shock to the system and throws you off kilter. “What on earth was that about?” you say through a bleary-eyed yawn. Generally, we parents cannot believe the child has the audacity to forego sleep and thereby rob us otherwise unsuspecting adults of our precious shuteye.
A year ago this week, we were preparing for Beatrice to start school for the first time. A big rite of passage, we bought books for her to read, included her in school supply shopping, and she had a new blue backpack with her name on it. You know the drill. It was also my first time to be a mom with a school-aged kid. I sincerely hoped Bea would have a smooth start, and that she would enjoy school.
The day before “Meet the Teachers,” David had emergency surgery for a detached retina. It was one in a too long series of medical traumas we endured in 2015, a year that spared no one in our little family. The suddenness of David’s surgery visibly rattled Bea. She treats change like an intruder. Surprises of this nature are not welcome for her. Let's be real though, no one gets super jazzed to wake up and find their retina has taken to peeling off like old wallpaper.
The world is crazy-town right now y'all. Crazy. Town. And whatever side of the fence you stand on, all indications say you are convinced yours is the right way. So many people are hurting. So many people are hurting people. The heaviness is palpable. The sorrows are all but tangible at this point.
I don't know about you, but I think it's time to tear down the fences. I think it's time for gratitude. To SEE each other. To not only listen, but hear. A laying down of judgments. Radical kindness. Revolutionary generosity of spirit and resources. Time is precious, friends. And so easily wasted.