I last posted a blog on July 4. This may be the longest break I’ve ever taken from writing. To be honest, I didn’t want to write. In fact, a part of me wanted to quit blogging forever. I wanted to detach from the world and not look at it anymore. One day after the Dallas police shootings, I took the Facebook app off my phone and quit looking at the news feed. I tightened my circle of contacts and only communicated with my friends. I wanted to hole up, forget this place and hide in a foxhole. I still kinda want to do that. It sucks.
I’m not going to write about my feelings about the last 10 days or so. Everybody that has posted anything on social media or said anything gets criticized or their words twisted. This is one of the few times when all opinions seem controversial. And I don’t think it’s fair. I think people are too hard on others who can’t find the right words. I think we are all too hard on other people who have lived and breathed different life experiences. No two of us see the world the same. And that’s normal. It’s not wrong. I’ve seen too much of everything except compassion. And I’m sick of self-righteousness.
I’m a little woo-woo and not politically savvy. I know that I tend to hide when things get tense. I don’t watch the news, and I often despise social media. I like animals and fuzzy slippers and sunsets. I avoid mud, blood and the heat. I don’t enjoy scary or violent movies because they show a side of life that I’d rather not imagine. I get overwhelmed shopping. I prefer small, quiet places with colorful art. I cringe when people get angry and bitter people make me sad. Fireworks make me nervous, and they keep playing a commercial on the radio with the sound of gunfire, and it makes me squirm every time I hear it. I like being alone in the woods, and I don’t mind sleeping out there by myself. I’m brave and squeamish and cowardly and empathic and intelligent and ignorant. I’m all those things, and so are you.
I know that a long time ago I realized that my police officer friends were a little more cynical because they lived in a world I never saw. They see more human darkness in one day than I see in a lifetime. I know that they chose that line of work because they are made differently than me. I would probably last two hours in that line of work. And I am grateful that someone deals with that side of life so I can feel safe to walk my dog at night.
I also know that people cross the line sometimes and do things they shouldn’t. We make wrong decisions. We get crossways with the truth. We get angry and do things we regret. And we have to pay the consequences for our behavior. We reap what we sow. Karma is real. Shit happens. Life is a bitch, and then you die. It’s all true.
I also know that we don’t give up. We do what we have to do to feel like we are doing something. We hug a cop and thank them for their service. We call a friend and rant about the wrong in the world. We post a tribute on social media. We support our African-American friends even when we feel like their finger is being pointed at us. We volunteer to serve or give out water at a protest or just let someone know that we care. We find something positive and moving and human and share it on Facebook. We make people laugh. We need to feel that there is something good in the world after all. And that’s true, too.
My friend Alayne asked me today how I was doing with all this, and I told her that I had just unplugged. She was having a hard time with it, too. I was thinking tonight that there must be many of us who are struggling with the world at this moment. I just want more loving-kindness and less hate. I want more blue skies and less rain. I crave more laughter and fewer tears. Meditation always helps me. I’ll share this loving-kindness meditation with you. It will be my contribution to the light. I hope that you’ll contribute something, too. Light dispels darkness. This is also true.