I’m writing a novel. It’s one of the most fun things I have done in a long time. You can totally make up the storyline and characters, but I chose to base a lot of it on real places and people and events. One of the couples in the story is loosely based on Laura and me. Here is a paragraph from The Hotel.
“After 30 years of marriage, they sometimes communicated without talking. It was obvious that both were thinking deeply now. They were polar opposites in so many ways, but both of them had a deep longing to help people get better. It was expressed so differently is each of them, but the root desire was the same. They longed for kindness, mercy, empathy, and love in the world and when it didn’t happen, they became sad and angry and disappointed. At times, they lost hope, but at times like this they allowed themselves to dream a little.”
The truth about this statement is that sometimes Laura and I feel totally different about things like the events at the Capitol yesterday. When an angry mob of thugs breaches the Capitol building of our nation, Laura feels the full weight of that – she is angry, and sad and disappointed in those that could choose to see through a different lens and do better.
My initial reaction is to move quickly to what can possibly come out of this that is good. I look further down the road because otherwise I feel like I could crash and degenerate into the same type of behavior that I witnessed on television. I don’t want to be the religious zealot that forcefully usurps the law to prove a point. A part of me wants to – the other part of me forces myself to look towards hope.
Both things are prudent and necessary, maybe it’s the timing.
Primarily, we must allow ourselves to feel the full weight of what we experience. When citizens of our country usurp the democracy they profess to be protecting, it makes us very sad and even angry it doesn’t do any of us any good to bypass and pretend that it does not. Every day, we encounter people who have stuffed their emotions and created shadow that must be unraveled later. In a way, the insurrectionists at the Capitol were these people – they bypassed their pain until it boiled over and came out this way.
I trust Laura’s intuition to help me realize it’s okay to feel what I feel. Period.
Then, after we have felt what we need to feel, we can begin to search for hope. I found some hope yesterday in the tragic events of the day. I saw both houses of Congress turn down the rhetoric and draw a line in the sand and then move towards humility and honor. I saw on the faces of some in the crowd of thugs an awakening to what they were doing. I saw people online questioning and realizing they were following a false type of logic. At the least, I found hope that everything was out in the open.
So, just to be as clear as possible, let me restate plainly:
We can choose to feel what we feel AND
We can choose to look for hope AND
We can do better – all of us!
Be where you are, be who you are, be at peace,