At just this moment, in 1989, I was in what was, at the time, the old Eastern Block nation of Hungary. I traveled there with a group of my classmates at Columbia Thelogical Seminary and one of our professors.
The stated purpose of our trip was to experience a context different from our own. That, we did!
With lots of translating from English, often to German, and then to Hungarian and back again, we asked many questions. One of my overwhelming realizations was that our new friends came from generations of good people who woke up every morning, wondering who would be in charge.
Sadly, I have a much better perspective on what that must have felt like in this moment than I did a week ago. Which is rather like the old notion that we don’t know what we don’t know, until we do. And CNN plays on.
It feels, for me, like 9/11 felt. And that tells me something important. We, those of us who are aghast at least, are experiencing something much like national post traumatic stress from the attack on our Democracy, and the Covid deaths are picking up speed again.
I’m grateful for the pastoral counselor with 30-some years of experience who lives within me, quite a bit more spattered with paint in these days. What she knows is that many of the things we thought we could count on feel shaky, at best, in this moment and we probably won’t be very successful at shaming or blaming ourselves out of it.
One thing that helps is to let the feelings out. Bake a loaf of bread and knead the daylights out of it if that works for you. Walk, if you safely can, swinging your arms, alternately with your legs. The cross-lateral brain movement helps! If walking isn’t a good fit, knitting is the same kind of helpful movement.
Brush a big, hairy dog if there’s one handy. Make prayer dots.
Make some soup. Or donate to a soup kitchen. Sing. Dance. Wail the daylights out of an old piano. Reach out to the ones you love. Safely.
My own hands are paint stained again after a Zoom workshop with my dear Red Thread sister, Natalie Moyes, in which we claimed some of the good in 2020.
Just between us, I’m pretty worn out after all the election drama in Georgia. And grateful that we did, indeed, cause some Good Trouble.
And I’m planning on causing some more! Here’s the thing…
The world needs you and your gifts! First, though, those gifts need claiming.
I’d like to help. (It’s how I cause trouble!) That’s why I’m opening a few slots in my private coaching practice. Over a period of about 4 months, we’ll use a bunch of my best strategies to clarify your vision and add what you need to be ready and to make the next steps.
Watch for details tomorrow. For tonight, consider taking a break from CNN. Turn on your favorite music. Dance “like no one is watching”. And, if you’re really feeling motivated, put paper and a pencil on your bedside table, tonight, and let yourself wonder, as you wander off to sleep, what gift might be calling you forward.
And, if you’re anything like me, you might also ponder who’s watching.