I will be trying to be a better person for all my earthly life. No matter how hard I try, I have not been able to be like the people I admire so much. These are the people who truly understand that the greatest commandment is to love one another. These are the people who can regulate their emotions and express their opinions in thoughtful ways.
The pandemic was hard on all of us. I don’t think any particular group had it worse than others and I don’t believe any of us made it through unharmed or unchanged. As a cancer patient, I was forced to isolate at home until the vaccine was developed. My introverted self loves being home and I live on a farm so my home includes several acres to roam. It could have been much worse. Yet I still look back and see how I became so dependent on interacting with humans online that I started seeing people’s social media selves as their entire selves. I was scared and angry at what was happening in the world and decided to cut ties with people on social media to lower my anxiety level, since I had lost my ability to “just keep on scrolling.”
It is so easy to lump people into “us” and “them” categories. Too easy. We start avoiding people rather than working to interact with people who are different than us. The last few weeks have shown me that I need to work harder than ever at “loving one another” and to focus on fixing me instead of fixing the generic “others.” Nadia Bolz-Weber published an essay about this 6/19/22 and the link is here if you care to read it:
Us vs. Them
I was very upset over a book discussion at my church. My therapist pointed out that it was a very poor decision to join a discussion about dying of cancer with a group of people who are not dying of cancer (as a whole). That seems so obvious in hindsight. I need to save those discussions for my MBC groups. My church and my church family are a lifeline for me and I am thankful to be part of that mission.
Us vs. Them
My pledge class at my sorority had a reunion last weekend. We took turns sharing what we’ve been doing since 1991. That room was filled with women who are leading diverse lives but one shared commonality. There was no division or animosity despite a room of people with diverse opinions on politics, religion, and other social issues. We had moms of kids who are not heterosexual and moms whose kids work with anti-homosexual organizations. We had moms who focused on careers and moms who stayed home and moms who did something in between and women who chose not to be moms. We had women who are staunch Republicans and women who are staunch Democrats and women somewhere in the middle. We had women living on farms, rural areas, and large metropolitan areas. What we had was a room full of women who loved each other and listened to each other and rejoiced with our joys and cried with our concerns. We did not focus on our differences. And that is how I wish to live.
These three kids are not so little anymore. They are my reason for everything. I want to be a better person for them. I want to make the world better for them. I want to put so much of ME in THEM so that they feel me with them even when I’m gone.
What’s your why? Can we help each other unite in our shared commonalities? After all, we are all Children of God.
(Kris, Ed, PD, Barb, Susan – you are all who I strive to be.)