This just happened. I wished a woman good luck at the lotto kiosk. I watched myself turn to her on my way out the door and say, “Hey! I hope you win!” I genuinely meant it, too. I’ve never done that before. Ever. At first she looked at me with a sarcastic look on her face. Her mouth was closed, as if she were holding back saying a retort of some kind. But once she looked at me, I held her gaze and let the reality sink in for the both of us; I meant it. A softening spread across her eyes and she said, “I need it!” I think she meant the money AND the good luck. I get that. I have certainly had my fair share of ups and downs where the only option I knew I was to throw two bucks down and play for my prayers to be answered.
There’s something in the air and I just can’t quite put my finger on it. Everything in the world is terrible right now. The environment, the politics, the violence, the poverty, it’s all just terrible. So why am I loving on people and not continuing my recoil from horror? Here’s another example, a family member of mine just no-showed on me. Again. Usually I’d be throwing down about this, pointing out the hurt I feel, the issues that need to be addressed, the vow to ‘never again’ that would be erased for some other opportunity for connection. But what do I find myself doing? I’m letting it go?! I actually understand that she is who she is, that she is trying her best. I can keep my own promises but I don’t need her to keep hers. What in the HELL is happening?
I want to document this. Put it on the record as saying, ‘Dear Me, This is happening right now. Love, Me again’. I don’t want to forget, because that’s how I create my own demise. I forget and put others’ experiences in front of my own and then navigate my world from their sights, their expectations, their needs. I let them act as captain of my reality ship, then I do tedious and unnecessary work to make things happen their way. This has worked never, so I don’t know why this is my default modus operendi. It’s not even easier. But I have been doing one thing lately that has been different than any other time before. I have been sharing my writing. That means I have taken my raw data and masticated it for awhile and then painted a picture with the flavors that are coming out of my mouth. TMI? Well, how would you describe it? It’s not that I have a finished product to give you, like 10 tips on how to be sane in an insane world. (Note to self: write next blog post on 10 tips on how to be sane in an insane world). You are getting the canary in the coal mine, except this canary is singing to you a love song of freedom and light and fresh air.
And you know what else is happening at the same time? Other people are saying beautiful, kind things at random. Example: this 93 year old woman starts to give me sweet tips on how to baby proof my house. We are in the community pool shower room. I know she is 93 because she tells me this, and tells me her children liked to throw each other down all the time growing up. She had to get rid of the glass furniture. I laughed. She said they are now 65 and 67. I asked her if they still throw each other down a lot and I give myself a giggle thinking about that. She didn’t hear me and I was disappointed that she didn’t get to share in that joke. She then says that there were spiders in the pool changing room and she told the receptionist. The receptionist said they would spray
for it but this sassy lady pointed her finger to the floor to emphasize that they would not be using any harsh chemicals for fear a child might pick something up off the floor and eat something toxic. I can’t make this world safe for my son all on my own. I rely on the grandmothers to give their fiery advice, even if some of those tips I have to learn on my own. There are such great kindnesses happening all the time, and this is just one. So, I rely on the kind person who tells me I left my headlights on, and I know for a fact that someone has turned mine off for me without even waiting to tell me they did it.
From the depths of chaos and despair, of abuse of power and greed, the page turns…a new chapter taking us to the part in our collective life drama where we look down at our shoes and realize the colors of our own distinct living, splotched on our boots, is the story we paint made by our own brushes.
And now, confession time. I got really angry the other week. My one-year-old son bit me and drew blood, and I got so upset. Sadly, in a kind of knee jerk reaction, I yelled. And I instantly regretted it. Sweet baby had to hear his Mama yell and that is not okay. I will not let this happen again because this anger wasn’t even for him. Something was not in check in me. I took my own time out. So, who was I really angry at? I do what I always do. I sat and listened for the response that comes, much like the responses I have been giving in kindness. And it came, eventually. I was angry at what I thought was a situation I was stuck in. I felt I had no way out and no one to help me. But the gift in my having this sad experience was that the anger cleared long enough for me to see that I wasn’t really stuck at all. I just believed that I was. And you know what they say about beliefs and sphincters of certain kinds. Like my underwear, I opt to change my beliefs when they start to stink, stain or not fit anymore. Fresh underwear feels good and moves with you.
I let the kindness of this clarity about my son touch my heart, because that is part of this, too, to give yourself humble approval to experience the lessons in life and then the sweet forgiveness that comes in the learning. These experiences of kindness are cyclical in nature. They must be received, as well as given. And they come when they come, not saved for certain people or withheld. Like bursts of sunshine through the rain clouds, they touch everything and anything that is there in that moment.
If you find yourself enjoying some magical connections, some kind moments, some words that come out of your mouth that make someone laugh, or feel cared for, or change someone’s zombie-like disposition, and you didn’t even mean to do it, do this. Get curious about it and share it: write it, talk it through, make a song or dance of it, make art. There is a revolution of some kind happening and it’s not one we are cognitively organizing. Instead, we are getting out of the way and it’s moving through us. Feel it as this something is rising in us, with us, for us. It’s kind and beautiful and is powerful enough to save us all.