I want to thank so many of you for reaching out to let me know how much you miss reading my posts. I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted.
It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, it’s just hard to know what to say and how to say it these days. Everything seems to offend and anger someone, and then people get angry at the people getting angry. It’s an ugly cycle and it’s very discouraging.
I care about politics, I care about our country, I care about people who feel threatened and scared by the way our country is and by what it seems to be becoming. But so many people are convinced that their opinion is fact, that it seems as though nobody is willing to consider that their opinion might just be their opinion, and nothing more. I’ve seen people I care about and respect share feelings that attack others who feel differently, and it has made it challenging to respect them because of it. The truth is, I’m tired of feeling like everything is a fight, an argument, or a potential relationship-ender.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to listen to each other and still love each other, even when we don’t agree? Wouldn’t it be nice to see each other as more than a label or an extreme? Wouldn’t it be nice if we could recognize that the issue that divide us have more than two sides, and that what we experience, understand, view and believe about them are more complicated than left-right or anti-pro?
Can we vote for someone without agreeing with their every stance, or loving everything about who they are or what they stand for? Can we make decisions regarding our health and the health of others without being entirely convicted that we are absolutely right – or that anyone who decides differently from us is our enemy? Can we share a meal and conversation without inviting politics to the table?
I feel like I’m not the only one who has these thoughts – so why aren’t we speaking up? Why aren’t we taking a stand that says “Hey. I love you, but I don’t want to talk about this anymore because it’s making it hard to feel loving when we do”?
We can complain all we want about how bad things have gotten, but it’s up to us to make them different. It doesn’t matter what CNN or Twitter or Fox News or the White House or the Union reps or Facebook tells us is true – what matters is our neighbors – our literal neighbors – and loving them the best we know how. What’s happening “out there” has so much less bearing on our lives than what’s happening here, in our actual lives. We can’t change the world. But we can make a change in the world around us. And we can certainly make a change for our own sakes, if nothing else.
It starts with being tired of the way things are, and doing something about it by not being a part of it. In fact, I thought of a few things we can do that really do make a difference. You don’t have to do them all, but maybe pick one and take a first step in being healthier in your spirit. What if you…
- Make a rule that you will not read Facebook posts of people who make you angry. You really don’t need to know what horrible things they’ve posted today. You don’t have to “unfriend” them, but you can certainly “unfollow” them and not go looking.
- Make a rule that you will only post positive things on social media. Pictures of grandkids, fun questions asking for people’s favorite movies/foods/vacation spots, etc.
- Turn off the news. Set a specific time that you will check to see what’s happening, and then turn it off (or close the browser tab). Don’t get sucked into the negativity.
- Pray for someone else every day. Take your mind off of yourself by asking God to help someone else.
- Read a Bible verse every day. Get a devotion app, use Portals of Prayer, or get a page-a-day calendar. Inject something positive into your life on a daily basis.
- Turn off notifications, especially “badges,” on your phone. Stop letting yourself be stressed out by your phone constantly buzzing or those little numbers in the corners of all your apps that feel like they’re screaming at you to check them. I can’t tell you what an incredible difference this small thing has made for me personally.
- Step outside and just breathe for a minute. I know it’s cold right now, but I’m guessing that if you have a way to read this Blog, you have the ability to layer up your clothing and not freeze. Fresh air and God’s creation can work wonders on a tired spirit.
- Go to bed earlier, take a nap or sleep in – any time you get the chance. I’m guessing that no matter what your life looks like, you could probably use a little more rest. And it will be so much better for you than that extra episode of NCIS or beating another level of Candy Crush.
And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.Matthew 6:25-34
Let’s try these things together, and be healthier people together, too. Then, maybe, we can breathe a little easier and let a little more roll off so we can have more room for God’s peace and grace as we reduce stress and anger.
Thank you for reading me. I hope this is a helpful step back into the fray, and I’ll try and write a bit more in the future.