This is a from a twice a week-ish email I send out with inspiration for living a big, joyful life + hands-on tips you can start using immediately. If you want to get in on the fun, head right over here.
This weekend I got in a fight at the pool.
It was all pretty ridiculous – a woman felt like we weren’t following the rules (we were) and proceeded to make a huge stink about it, complete with yelling at me and calling me a b*tch. 😳
I kept my cool pretty well throughout the encounter, and ended the whole thing by refusing to engage with her, but if I’m being honest, I was kind of looking for a fight.
When the kids told me that someone was rude to them at the pool, we could have worked on letting it go, but I got fired up. When she marched over to the gate, I could have walked away or ignored her, but I engaged.
There was a piece of me that was glad to have somewhere to put my anger.
These past couple of weeks have left me feeling unsettled, raw with grief and emotion. All of the things I normally do to work through emotions – donating money, calling our reps, snuggling with the kids, sitting through the grief – haven’t been working. I still have felt jagged and thorny.
But, the pool encounter woke me up.
I pride myself in walking through the world with grace and kindness. It’s something I’ve worked hard at and every week I have multiple, tiny encounters of genuine connection – people have literally cried on my shoulder at Starbucks, I’ve laughed with people on corners at dumb jokes, I’ve given space to people who just needed to be heard, and hugged people who said they needed a hug.
These moments are more for me than for anyone else.
Six years ago, our extended family went through a violent trauma and, for a long time afterwards, I couldn’t believe there was still goodness in the world. Everywhere I looked, all I could see was danger and turmoil.
The world felt so precarious, many days I wouldn’t even leave my house.
One day my therapist said, “The world is exactly the same as it was before. You just have had a shift in perspective and are seeing what you didn’t see before.”
I thought about that for weeks.
She was right.
That violence existed before we experienced it personally. The ratio of violent people to non-violent people was most likely the same the day before the incident to the day after; I had just woken up to what it felt like to be on the receiving end.
And I realized I had a choice.
I could continue hiding and let this new perspective define my life or I could create a perspective that held both things – an understanding that the world holds dangers and ugliness and sometimes overwhelming pain AND beauty and human connection and light.
Both things can be true. We get to choose what we focus on and how we live our days.
And most days, I’m proud of the way I walk through the world. I strive to be a point of joy and light, to help counteract the darkness. To be a point of connection when our world leans towards discord and division. To use my energy and privilege to raise others up.
And, every once in awhile, I get into a fight at the pool. 😬
Today, I’m still angry and grieving, but I’m no longer looking for an altercation to release the tension.
I’ve reset and remembered that looking people in the eye and truly seeing them, laughing with strangers at a baby making faces, slowing down and holding the door open for someone with a genuine smile can all be a powerful antidote to fear and disconnection (well, that and voting, right?).
The world is broken and painful and always has been. The world is glorious and healing and always has been. It’s up to us to hold both and decide which we’ll act on.
Sending you so much love.
☎️ Call your representatives.
I know, I hate the phone too, but it matters. You can email or text but phone calls matter more because they know no one likes to make them so you must really care. Check out @emilysaysso for a new package of gun bills that are going to be reviewed this Thursday – she has scripts, action items, FAQs – a really amazing account!
🧐 Follow people who know their stuff.
@sharonsaysso, @jessicayellin, @marchforourlives, @emilyinyourphone are all accounts that are highly knowledgeable and have access to information and resources that can guide us on the most meaningful action to take.
🏡 Look at your local politics.
We often think of all politics happening at the national level, but it’s often at the local level where decisions that truly affect your life happen so go to the meetings (or watch them online), hold local reps accountable, and get involved.
🙄 Don’t get into fights at the pool?
I mean, you can if you want to, but I’d challenge you instead to take a deep breath and take one kind action every day that makes the world a more connected place. (I’m going to do my best to take my own advice. 😂)
Let me know in the comments! This is such a tumultuous time and we can also use extra love and support.
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