Hi. How are you doing?
Honestly? I have anxiety in me. My body hasn’t felt such a fist in my chest or a jaw this tight since my lawyer days. It doesn’t feel great.
I have a lot of questions: questions about what is happening in our country; questions about what I can do. What does political action look like for me? How am I supposed to love my neighbor? How do I engage from a whole-hearted place of Enough and not just react in fear?
The last time that I had anxiety with a lot of questions swirling around in me, I needed to pick one question. The question that I landed on last time is the question that I think I need again: How am I supposed to be?
How am I supposed to be? How do I want to be at this time, in this moment?
I want to be awake. I want to pay attention.
I want to be present.
I want my presence to matter.
I want to use my voice, my hands, my feet, and heart.
I want to be love. Love inhaled, love exhaled.
Love embodied and real.
I want to teach my children about love and caring for our neighbors.
I want to not just hope for justice and peace for all, but to work for it too.
I pray for courage and for clear sight.
I pray for an open heart.
I pray for wisdom.
I am taking one day at a time. What is my step for today?
There are so many things to care about. So many issues we could fight for. It’s good that people are sparked by different issues. We can’t all march for every issue worthy of marching for. But we can march, or write, or pray, or show up in some way for the issues or the people that weigh on our hearts. I can honor and support you as you march for the justice and the people that weigh on your heart. We need each other.
I can do small things. I’m learning to make phone calls. This is a big deal for an introvert who is uncomfortable calling strangers. And I’m learning that these phone calls aren’t very scary after all. I’m making my voice heard.
I can notice when my heart is growing hard toward some person or group of people. I can stop the script that’s running through my head and breathe or pray compassion toward them. I can try to understand why others feel the way that they feel.
Each day, I remember who I am. I remember that I abide in God and God abides in me. I open myself to the energy and power needed to do this day’s work. I keep my eyes and ears and heart open. I take the next step.
I remember that whether or not the sky is falling, I am rooted and grounded in Love.
This is how I want to be.
/ / /
That we may have courage
To turn aside from it all
And to come to kneel down before the poor,
To discover what we must do,
How to turn anxiety
Back into anger,
How to find our way home.
from John O’Donohue’s blessing For Citizenship in To Bless the Space Between Us