There’s been a lot of heaviness in my heart as of late. The event last week (and prior to) has left me angry and really, really sad once again. I’ve gone back and forth with what is perceived as “acceptable” to write about and what isn’t. My decision to write a bit about this was thought through with heartfelt eagerness to help those that may feel similar to myself.
Mama bear has resurfaced yet again, and y’all—something has to change.
Over and over again, we have experienced trauma as a collective so much so that some of us have become numb to it. We scroll without even so much as a flinch, almost as if this is normal.
It’s not normal.
We are not meant to live in this fight or flight state.
We shouldn’t have to.
This leads me to my point.
We need a refresh—a rational refresh.
Yes, big things are in need of change.
Yes, leaps of action are staring at us, nudging us to do right—to fight.
But all of this is done in vain if we’re not leading with love.
Get angry, feel your feelings, they are so very valid.
But please don’t let anger drive you—let love take the wheel.
I have a powerful and genuine feeling that I refuse to deny—underneath the opinions and arguments, we’re all after the same goal. Whether the paths we take to get there are completely separate or if we follow in line with each other, we’re all walking toward wanting love. It’s undeniable.
With this in mind, how can we move forward?
Wading through our differences and standing up for what we believe to be right gets ugly sometimes, I know. So what if we strip it all down to the basics and restart?
As the late John Prine would say: “...throw away your TV” and while the thought of this sounds tempting, it’s just not rational. (What would we do without The Office reruns, am I right?)
We need to be rational.
Let's get to it.
A couple of thoughts to wake with on the daily or even in times of chaos:
What can I do today to make the world a better place?
How can I be of service today?
Even if your answer to these questions is as simple as texting a friend to check in with them, trust that that is no small feat–leaps begin with a single step. Staying connected and offering support to one another is a ripple that travels.
In honor of keeping this refresh rationale, let’s break down how to tackle big things by beginning with a first step. I’m a planner by nature. I still prefer to make lists on paper as opposed to on my phone. Day-by-day plans help me to make strides in reaching my bigger goals. Checking them off feels good too.
Want to save the world?
My mama has always taught me that it needs to start with my own breath.
“Peace begins with me.”
If I’m not centered, my action gets distorted.
Here’s an example of my weekly calendar in working toward my own personal goal of putting in the work to fight for better gun laws in our country. A fight that I feel like I’ve been fighting for far too long.
Prior to beginning my action, I allowed myself to grieve. I made a therapy appointment and cried for one hour under the care of my therapist. I cursed and crumbled as she reminded me that all is not hopeless. She asked that I move toward hope by being true to myself and standing up for what I believe to be right. She reminded me that I do have a voice and even if that voice feels insignificant, it’s not. A thousand seemingly small voices make a pretty loud roar.
So here I am, sharing a piece of my tiny “meow” in hopes it’ll become part of a very loud pack.
Monday: Get clear.
Write down what it is that you’d like to accomplish that week. Make lists on how to get there.
Make sure what you’re reading isn’t biased. Try your best to find reputable resources that give facts without leaning too hard in any one direction.
Ex: I spend a decent bit of time reading information on the Everytown website. For my personal goal, this one page helped point me in a direction for “what next” steps.
Begin your work, whatever that may be. For me, it was emailing my senators and representatives. I constructed an email making sure to include specifics of what I wanted to see changed, and I sent them.
Thursday: Continue to act.
Reach out to your like-minded friends and see if they might have ideas to share. Also, check in with them. We’re in this together.
Oh, and send those emails (or make those phone calls) again.
Friday: Look into other ways to support.
I can’t pick up and fly to DC to join rallies, and if I’m honest large crowds tend to make me a bit nervous, so rallies, in general, might not be the best way for me to “show up” (thanks anxiety). But that doesn’t mean I can’t support the cause while also staying within my own boundaries.
(Don’t forget to email/call again.)
Saturday: Revisit your goal sheet and check off accomplishments.
This is the best part of list-making.
Whatever your cause or goal may be, you can apply this same tactic. Remember that the first step before action is getting clear. Please remember to ground into why you’re doing this work, and if we all agree on only one thing, let it be to LEAD WITH LOVE.
Strip it all down to the basics of human connectedness.
Feel the rage to stand up and fight then swipe down on the proverbial insta-screen of life and refresh.
Remember that in order to reach our goals we must access rational thought.
We must have common sense.
We’ll find that it is more easily accessible when we are centered and grounded.
Hope is not lost, my friends. Don’t become numb.
About the Author
Born and raised in West Virginia, you'll find Heather's heart outlined in the Appalachian mountains. She has strong passions for writing, healing, and music. She has spent much of her life spreading the message of ‘loving without conditions', all the while kicking up dirt - barefoot and dancing. While she has been an Energy Worker for over 15 years, a self-published author, and a business owner - Heather's truest love lies in being a mother...her continuous reminder of unconditional love and heartfelt laughter.