As many argue over and push the issue of gun control, I am convinced the most dangerous weapon of all is our words. What we say and what we post sends out an energy that either fuels a fire that is already burning out of control or contains it. Unlike guns, everyone comes equipped with a mouth. It is up to each and everyone of us to use it respectfully and this “I won’t sit down, I won’t shut up” attitude that has infected most of America is killing our spirit. Once you kill the spirit and morale of the people, what is left? How do you live in a world that is in constant conflict and continuous chaos? Some people thrive in that scenario. It gives them purpose but it also holds peaceful people in a prison they cannot escape. There is always someone lurking around the corner to pounce on your words and fight the good fight. Many of us are tired. We don’t care what you think. We just want you to be kind and be quiet but there is a strong force in this country that breeds selfishness and stifles the common good and humanity as a whole. People who think they are warriors are creating a battle most of us do not want to be part of. We need more quiet, more reflection, more lovers and peacemakers and less of your endless opinions. Sometimes it’s better to keep your thoughts and words to yourself. Having the right of freedom of speech does not entitle you abuse other people. At some point you have to decide, is what I’m about to say going to contribute to more hostility or more peace? I guess you’d have to care about others more than yourself to even contemplate the question in the first place. Sit with that for a while.
We took a quick trip to Colorado earlier this week. We were there less than 40 hours but we did a weeks worth of hiking and sightseeing. My favorite stop was Roxborough State Park. As soon as we pulled up in the car, I heard an audible sigh of relief. There are just some magical places that fill my body and soul with peace, love, contentment and gratitude and this was definitely one of them. As I sat at the top of the mountain halfway through the hike, part of me wanted to remain there forever looking out at this serene, beautiful, quiet piece of heaven. It was amazing and breathtaking and I am grateful for the experience. I am hoping these pictures share some of that with you. Tell me what you think?
I am amazed at the amount of people who voice that a particular person is “the” problem. Personally I don’t think anybody holds that amount of power. I chuckle to myself as I remember something my momma used to say. If you aren’t part of the solution than you are part of the problem. Funny how some never do see it that way. It’s so easy to point that long condemning finger at someone else. I guess it makes people feel important, better, smarter. I think it makes you look very small. But then again, I’m usually busy watering my own grass to notice whether or not yours is even green. There comes a time when enough is enough. If only that time was now. I’m not sure it will ever come and it makes me feel sad.
How awesome is that we are here to celebrate living another day? We were given another beautiful chance to make this world a kinder and gentler place. What will we do with this precious opportunity?
If you can make someone happy today, I urge you to to do it! Anyone can create havoc and discord but it takes a REAL leader, a true warrior to create a place of love and peace. Peace be with each and everyone of you. Go out and shine today! Make peace your intention and be the change to HEAL the world. Be FOR something, anything. Start there. I’m for kindness, cohesiveness, civility, love.
All this talk about truth lately was been weighing heavily on my mind. Who do we believe anymore? Who can we trust? We see news reporters reporting on the same story yet the the stories contradict themselves. How can the same story be told so many different ways? Entirely opposite ways? In art, I could paint one image and manipulate your interpretation of it simply by changing the colors. The first painting could be covered in bright, beautiful colors and the second in drab, dreary ones. I can purposely paint a happy, positive scene or a dark and negative one and that is most likely how you would interpret it. We are losing the truth, hidden somewhere behind the color. We are being tugged one way or another and it’s not doing anything to help our country heal and come together. Where is the truth? Would we even recognize it anymore because of the way we have been manipulated for so long? What a sad state when news reporting has become more like art and art has become more like truth. Just something to think about. Maybe truth IS a lost art. I just don’t know.
Earlier, on the way home from a swim meet, I had a talk with my 17 year old daughter. She was explaining her despair and frustration over nasty girls leading her senior class. These girls are well liked, popular girls who do some really mean things to really good people. Their example is unfortunately one being followed by the weaker minded people of the crowd. The nice girls who are good students and kind human beings are their victims. They go after them fiercely until they do whatever it takes in their power to run them down and make them an outcast. Tonight is their semi dance. It’s her senior year and she is deflated over making the decision to ride the senior party bus. She knows many riders are not her people but some of her friends wanted to be on it. The conflict is, some of her other friends are the victims. We are pulled to the party bus. We want to be with the in crowd, making headlines so we can say we were along for the ride. We want to hold our sign and pose for selfies so we can litter the internet with our powerful smile with the caption “there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.” We talked about the parallel with what is going on in America now. The trade off is falling victim to wanting to be part of something bigger than ourselves because somewhere along the way, we have stopped feeling big enough alone. Innocent people are willing to play the part of pawns in a very dangerous game. We all want to be in a group that makes us feel like a badass. We love the energy generated by the whole power in numbers thing but sometimes, if we are not careful, we take it too far. It is in that shining moment when our ego gorges itself and we feel full and whole again. At least we pretend we do until the next party bus rolls on through and reluctantly, we step on because we’ve mistaken it for home. It is that moment when we’ve never felt more alone. We have to stop looking outward and to other people for a sense of self worth and purpose. We won’t gain it during a protest or a million person march. We certainly won’t find it on any party bus. You are good enough. It’s time to look in the mirror and say, I am enough. We all have a calling. We have gifts that we were given to make this world a better place. You can’t find love or force love. You are love. It is up to you to decide what you do with it. Love and power don’t mix. Love is selfless, it lifts others up and does not judge another as less that oneself. It does not march against but yet towards something greater for everyone. Love listens. Love hears the truth even when it hurts. Love does not force. Love does not purposely harm. Love does not divide. Pride does. My heart aches for my daughter tonight. I know the battle well and I understand how lonely it can feel to stand alone. I also know how awful it feels to dive in to a place head first where you were never meant to fit in. Love does not resist. Love leans in and reaches out. I hope she finds her people tonight. I hope they will recognize each other through the crowd and find some peace. Love seeks peace. Pride seeks fame and self. It’s up to you to understand the difference.
Today is an important day to remember that you get back exactly what you give out. There is energy all around us, an ebb and flow of give and take. If you give off resistance, you invite resistance back into your life. If you offer respect and humility, that same humility and respect will be returned to you. We have to be very cautious and remember that what we focus on is what we get more of. We do have control over what we bring into this world. We shape it with our thoughts and actions but it is imperative to be painfully honest with ourselves. Do we fight for tolerance while at the same time being intolerant ourselves? There is no justification to skirt around this. The truth doesn’t change to fit your agenda. You cannot apply labels to someone else and excuse that same behavior for yourself because your reasons are justified. From where I stand, I don’t see much tolerance or respect or even dignity as we stand across from each other pointing fingers. Unless you are truly willing to take an honest look at who you are, then don’t think you have the right to look at anyone else. Be bigger. Be better. Be real change and a leader who stands up for what is right period. Not for this group or that group but rather make a stand for behavior that portrays humility, kindness, respect and dignity. You can be part of the crowd or you can stand out alone and scream, follow me. I will show you a new way. On this day, choose peace not pride, unity over division, love over hate and hope over despair.