Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Shared Story

I am certain that like everyone else, I should probably be sharing the ins and outs of my opinion regarding the results of the presidential election...but after five days of trying to collect them...I just can't seem to.

I remember the morning after--I'd barely gotten 3 or 4 hours of sleep and woke up to piece together peanut butter sandwiches for the kids' lunch containers, dark roast for the coffee maker, a quick shower for a work event and a blessing for my family as they headed out the door...and in those moments, there was a haze of disillusionment wondering, "how can I do this...the regular stuff...and just pretend that this big thing didn't happen?"

For some reason, as I was schlepping to and fro in the house, tired and bewildered, I remembered my grandmother.  She was extraordinary.  She was stunning on the outside and the inside.  And when I was at a loss to understand why someone had wronged me or made me feel less than or tossed me out to dry, she would reply with..."find yourselves in the same story."  It was such a painful process...but what she meant was that both the person and I were here on earth together.  We encountered each other.  We traversed the others' path.  We connected.  There was a reason.  What did I learn?  How much would I value their place in my story?  Because that was the work.  Finding common ground.

I stumbled upon this quote by the incomparable Maya Angelou moments before I found the words to say to my children as I sent them back into the world for the day

Like usual, they lined up and I put my hand on their head and said, "May God bless your mind so that it can be open and you will learn.  May God bless your ears to be a good listener, even when it is hard and all you want to do is to talk.  May God bless your mouth to speak kind words and to give thanks.  And may God bless your heart to feel love and to know that you are never alone.  I love you...."

And I reminded them that the expectation was that they would be kind to those they met, that they would do the right thing, even if others were not, and that they would do their best to make the world a better place.

And later, I'm going to teach them about finding each other in the same story...a hard lesson of recognition that we are all connected...sometimes, whether we want to be or not.  We share much common ground, if we could simply hear and be open to the other.

Until then, my wish for them and most pressingly for myself is to continue to be who I am and to revolutionize the world with acts of love, hope, and small act at a time.

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