Monday, October 26, 2015

Let it Start With Me

I've come back and forth to this page. I've sat down, started typing for awhile, and then deleted all of it. Closed up shop and decided to wait until I was inspired. That's not working, so I decided to show up anyways. I don't have a lot of great things to say. I've kind of let the negative reek havoc of my thoughts and heart lately, and I need to figure out a way to detox a little to sort out the chaos that is my brain. It's hard though. There's so much sadness. So much angst. So much stress. So much worry. It's seeping from my pores, but also coming at me full force from every other direction. People are hurting and sick and sad, and it's unfixable by my hands.

Today a family we know in Sioux Center lost their four year old daughter. One day she was happy, healthy and full of life, and the next, she was gone. I find myself incredibly angry with God, wondering what on Earth could possibly be his reasoning for all of this. There is so much evil out there. Why not eliminate that? People we love are getting cancer or dealing with other health issues. Hearts are broken. Families are ripped apart. You can't look at the news and NOT see war and violence and sadness and political garbage, and I wonder sometimes when is it going to give? In the world and in me? When am I not going to feel sad anymore? When will I find me? How long is the valley this time around? At what point does it get better?

What I realized is that my perspectacles are incredibly biased. When I'm low, it doesn't take much to find the bad. In everything. In everyone. With all of the bad, I forgot that just last week hundreds of thousands of people showed up to be a village, and in 24 hours raised $475,141 for a birthing center to be built in Port Au Prince, Haiti. It will give women the opportunity to give birth safely in much better conditions than they had before. It also is helping refugees fleeing to Germany who haven't yet registered, and are not able to receive any health care. Not only did people show up, but no one was allowed to donate more than $25. Their motto is "Doing small things with great love." I also didn't focus on the story about the young man who took a small chunk of time out of his day to teach a little girl how to skateboard. Really, any article on this page will remind you that there is good out there. We just have to look for it. And on days like today, that's hard. It's hard to have more questions than answers. It's hard not to be able to fix something for people you love. It's very easy to let your perspectacles get foggy.

But here is what I know. I know that it starts with me. If I want to see kindness, I need to show it. If I want to see others helping each other, then I need to show up. If I want a village, I need to be a village. If I want to see love, then I have to be love. There are some things I just can't fix. And that sucks. I can, however, show up. Find the beauty beneath the brutal. I can show love and I can be love, and if I can keep my focus on the good as much as possible, that's one step closer to getting out of this hole while also making the world a better place in the process.

Here's a little Momastery wisdom. It speaks from my soul.

"Lately, more than ever — I’ve turned on the news and then turned it off in what might be called a teeny bit of despair. This is what I usually think:
So much pain. So much callousness. So much hopelessness.
I need to believe.
I need to believe that the world is good.
I need to believe that people care.
I need to believe that the light is more powerful than the darkness.
I need to believe that it is finally time for women to lead. For us to turn this car around and lead us to peace.
I need to believe that I am PART of something bigger than myself.
I need to believe, I need to believe I need to believe…
And then I remember:
Life is about noticing what you need to believe. And then MAKING IT SO.
Leadership is offering the world exactly what you need — before you have it.
I am sitting in my kitchen writing this and the tears won’t stop coming because:
The world is good.
People care.
Light will always will always will always overcome the darkness.
There is no force. NO FORCE greater than love.
Our time has come. 
We are not alone. We are part of something bigger than ourselves.
We can do hard things.
We Belong to Each Other.
Love Wins."
The challenges I have set for myself are as follows: to try my hardest not to complain or be negative. That's going to be hard. I'm pretty sure I won't get an A on that assignment, but I'm sure going to try. One baby step at a time. Also, keep showing up, all messy and imperfect. Even when I want to quit.

I'm going to end this post on a happy note. No better time to start than right now. Here are some happies from the last month in photos.

Honored to stand up for one of my favorite people in her wedding next August.

A decent selfie with my daughter where her smile is somewhat genuine. Love our family tradition of pumpkin picking. 

First marching band performance before the football game.

The place where all our stresses disappear for 72 hours. The Ozarks. Good people. Good food. Lots of laughter. So many memories made over the last 5 years.

Healthy kiddos who are proud of their accomplishments. 

Finally getting the four of us to get some quality time together amongst all of our busy schedules. 

Because Fall is my favorite. 

Go out and find some happy. Show up and be love.