When I was a kid, and we got too loud, the parent or teacher would usually say something like, “Let’s play the quiet game!” The rule was the first person to say something loses. It’s the worst game ever when you are a kid, even a quiet one like me.
But now, as an adult, I kind of wish I could just say that from time to time – at work, on the web, and in stressful situations. “Let’s play the quiet game!”
It pretty much never fails.
I am determined to live a less stressful life. Determined to make time for peace, exercise, writing, music, and gardening. Time for silence, meditation, and quality time for my wife and I to just enjoy being with each other.
Then, something happens.
A big something. A small something. Or, a thousand tiny somethings.
I determine I will not allow hatred into my space. I determine not to allow people who will say things that are hurtful and ignorant about my relational orientation anywhere near my life. I slash through my facebook friends list and eliminate anyone and everyone who has ever posted something against us, used a gay slur, or engaged in any other non-supportive behavior. I delete people I don’t really talk to, all in an effort to
I stop listening to NPR for a week, take all the blogs I follow out of my feed, because they, too, stir up controversy. I don’t read news stories and blogs about the things that matter to me, because I know I will read the comments and get angry and deeply hurt.
I finally start to feel better, and my physical and emotional pain subside. I can feel peace and rest finally comes.
But, then it happens.
I look at an article, and I like it so I read on and my eyes stray to the comments or to past entries, and I can feel my shoulder seizing up into a tightened mess.
A family member does something non-supportive. Every joint and muscle prone to fibromyalgia pain burns and aches.
I read this story and others like it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/17/elderly-gay-man-nyc-hate-crime_n_3940726.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003
I feel sick. I think I am going to literally fall and vomit.
Somebody, for the love of God, do something.
This world is full of noise. Of anger. Of violence.
Our Facebook news feeds, Twitter feeds, media consumption, and GMO diets have us full of trash in body, mind, and spirit.
Rather than being fed, we are being drained.
We dehumanize one another, and cease to be good examples of humanity ourselves. We can’t possibly believe we are doing the world any good when we are like this.
But then I read stories like this one:
And this one:
And I start to see the beauty and hope of redemption, and I see that it is only possible if we are willing to lay our arguments down, willing to lay down our weapons – and then to take it a step further and to form what has been used to harm into something that can be used to cultivate life.
So how do we find rest?
How do I find rest?
I struggle with disconnecting from social media because of the role I play in some people’s lives – who contact me in confidence. I struggle with the fact that if I want to succeed as a writer, I have to be somewhat self-promotional. (The same is true for my musical pursuits.)
But I also feel the need to go off alone for a bit. And to just be. To be without the sounds and sights of media. To put my hands in the earth even more, to create, and to just be with D and laugh. Because we need it.
We have a cat in the hospital. She was hit by a car over the weekend. We found her crouched and crying and bleeding under our car where she had been hiding.
I sobbed as she cried and blood poured from her mouth.
I called, and she drug herself.
We wrapped her in a towel, and rushed her to the emergency animal hospital an hour away. We cried off and on the whole way. She was hurt so bad, we thought it was another of our cats, until after her exam showed it was one of the younger ones – one of the kittens born on our back porch just a few months ago.
Luna had to have her leg amputated yesterday, and had to have her jaw reconstructed and mouth wired shut so it can heal. Because of her swelling, she had to have a tracheotomy put in place for a few days so she can breathe. She will also have to have a feeding tube.
We are doing everything we can to help her.
My spirit has also felt wounded and weary lately, and I feel like I have been going through an amputation of my own, and that there are still parts of my life that need to go so that new life can very literally grow inside of me.
The doctor told us that after he amputated Luna’s leg, the pain meds were able to be reduced drastically.
I hope the same is true as I am eliminating what I am able to of the major stressors in my life.
It will be important that D & I mind Luna’s feeding tube.
We will need to be careful of what she takes in.
I need to be more careful of what I take in.
So if you do not see me on social media as much; yes, there is a reason. If I don’t respond to messages or comments as quickly, be patient with me please.
It’s time to rest.
It’s time to be quiet for a bit, and to not listen any more to noise. It is time to take in good food. (Like the homemade organic pickles we had last night, made with heirloom cucumbers from our garden.) And it is time to have face to face or over the phone conversation. It is time to just surround myself with love and support as I grow and as the children in my dreams become reality.
It is time for peace.
It is time to laugh.
It is time to set the worry aside.
It is time to heal.
Peace be with you.
What about you? How do you find healing, growth, and peace in this fast-paced, media obsessed, and sometimes hateful world? How do you set boundaries in your relationships and in other areas of your life?