August 15, 2017

Handling Emotions

Emotions. They are a strange thing, but they make us humans. They are also writing most of this, so I apologize for the unorganized stream of thoughts.

Let me tell you, I've had every single one in the last 72 hours. This shit happening in our country right now is horrifying. Racists, nazis, the KKK. Why are those still active groups in 2017? Who is teaching this kind of bullshit hatred?

I've been scared, sad, angry, embarrassed, inspired and grateful over and over again in a big swirl. I've felt useless, I've had a hard time believing and I've felt such waves of love for people in my life. Shame, heartbreak and rage. It's a lot to handle.

My biggest focus the last few days is trying to continue to figure out the correct channels for all these emotions. I find myself constantly refreshing Twitter and while that's a great way to get real time reactions on things, it's not productive to do for hours straight.

The best thing I can do is speak up. Not just via tweets and blog posts (although those are important), but in my day to day life. Have the face to face conversations that can be uncomfortable. Participate in community events and be an active member in all places in my life. Promote love and grace.

When I first saw this poem, we were visiting the Boston Holocaust Memorial. This morning, someone smashed the glass at the memorial for the second time in six weeks. This is NOT OK. I don't want to hear the BS about how the motives are unknown. The acts of vandalism are disgusting and full of hate.

The other thing I want to scream about is the argument over these statues. A statue is erected to honor a person or a moment. Sometimes it's honoring someone or a group that tragically lost their lives in an event and sometimes it's celebrating a real hero. Removing statues doesn't erase the past, but it does show the future what is worth honor. Watching the Durham video today had me cheering. It's 150 years past due to pull these down. I promise, the history is there and documented and won't be erased.

On top of speaking up, I have to channel all this emotional energy into something positive and I would encourage everyone else to do the same. Be angry and get fired up and then pour that energy into something - maybe it's a post on your blog that people can share and read and discuss, maybe it's a volunteer event or fundraising for a special cause or maybe it's just going to spend time with the children in your world because they need to know that it's not the world we want to leave them.

Let me change gears for a quick second and fill you in on something I'm going to do this week to funnel my emotions. Last March, we lost a dear friend of our family way too young (read more about his story here.) He was so passionate about teaching and worked in a few different cities with Teach for America. After he died, his family has made it their mission to continue his passion for kids. They have used the funds they have raised to help keep a neighborhood sports program alive, give scholarships for high school students that are pursuing a teaching degree and helping provide school supplies for those students that can't afford them. They are doing their 2nd annual 5k to raise money this weekend in Saint Paul. Since I won't be in town, we've decided to carry out their mission in our neighborhood by donating backpacks filled with supplies to the church in our neighborhood that is organizing a collection. If you're interested in participating, I can help you find something local to you, send you info on the #forthekids 5k in MN or I can include you on our shopping trip this week.

I apologize if this post was a little all over the place, but my brain hasn't settled down in days. If you haven't read through Steph's post yet, do that here. She shared some powerful stuff - especially at the end. I would just encourage you to channel your emotions into something that helps you not be completely worn down. Also, put more love out there into the world than usual because that's the best way to fight the hate.

Sending the love to all of you today.


3 comments:

  1. I am also a swirl. Good ideas on channeling. I need to get out among the people.

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  2. Helpless is the best word for how I've felt this week. The posts on my Facebook feed are at least encouraging- there's so much more love out there than hate.

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Thanks for reading my ramblings. It makes my heart happy.