- Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings
I've always been really bad at body awareness exercises, which usually surprises me because I consider myself a spiritual person. Or maybe that is my downfall. I felt awkward and didn't know what I was doing most of the time, but I set aside 20 minutes and told my body it could do whatever it wanted. Then I was supposed to try to be aware of what my body was telling me.
I had to be in my room because my roommates were home and the only place I have to sit is on my bed. I wasn't sure which position I should take so I moved around a couple times. I tried to stay "open" but I found myself pulling my knees to my chest. I guess that's what my body wanted to do. I wasn't sure what my body was saying to me (or if it was talking at all). I could hear my roommate talking on the phone. But I leaned in and focused.
My neck hurt. But it's been in pain since November. Maybe I should go to a doctor. Maybe that is the message my body is sending. But, I've known about that pain. I've just been ignoring it. Forgetting for days that it's there until it decides to remind me again.
I found my mind wandering. To my life in Michigan, my dreams of what my life could turn out to be, my loneliness, my fear -- you know, the usual.
Other than that, I didn't really "feel" much or gain much insight.
I wanted to try to connect the dots and come up with something deep and meaningful from those 20 minutes but everything just feels silly. There was nothing deep that happened. It was frivolous and awkward. And I think that is the point. I've been trying to conjure up some answers or explanations and I fumble around with words -- because I have to. People are calling on me to make my answer.
But, maybe it really is that simple. Maybe I'm just trying to find a comfortable position, trying to stay open but sometimes needing to be closed off. And there's a pain in my neck that I've been ignoring. And maybe I should get some help. Maybe I should do something about it.
I've got the answer.*
So, I feel like everyone - everyone - no matter what wing you're on or what side of the spectrum you range or where you buy your groceries - needs to take a chill pill. For real. I think we all need a vacation.
In lieu of just about everything happening on the internet these days, I've been thinking about why we get so mad and riled up. For example, Leo won an Oscar this week (of which he will #neverletgo) and used his speech to bring up concerns about climate change. And, I'll admit, at first I was a little annoyed that yet another Oscar winner was trying to one up the other Oscar winners in how altruistic they are. Let the awards show just be an awards show. Ya know>? That kind of thing. But then I was bothered that I was bothered. Why do I find it annoying? Why can't I be confronted by the harsh realities of the day?
The answer I came up with is because sometimes I get tired of everything -- literally everything -- becoming an "issue". Like, we can't breathe anymore without someone analyzing whether our breath was pro-women, pro-equal rights, pro-civil rights, anti-gun, and pro-environment. Beyonce made a video and then got depantsed with backlash because even her progressive video wasn't progressive. We're also in the middle of one of the weirdest (I think) presidential campaign we've ever experienced. So, we're all thinking about, eating, breathing, and sleeping with the issues of the days. And that can be tiring. And a little doomsday-y.
That led me to another question. Why do I not want to think about the issues of today? Am I too lazy? Too scared? Too closed minded? To helpless? And that is the question I am marinating on for a while.
When someone sees something different than me, can I put myself in their shoes? (I've put myself in Trump's shoes and then I quickly cut off my feet.) Can I explore their side of the issue? Can I stop pretending for one moment that climate change doesn't exist, or that racism is no longer an issue, or that I as a white middle class person have been persecuted? Can I stop being lazy and actually try to do something about rape culture and police brutality? Can I consider that maybe life begins at conception and abortion is not just a women's right issue? Can I see others who are different than me and actually learn about their culture, their background, and what makes them them? Do I have the ability to do this?
I'm not advocating giving in to every little thing because that's what the cool kids are doing. But, I think all of us can do a better job of understanding each other. Take some time to point your fingers at yourself. How can you be more graceful? More loving? More serving? More humble?
Do you wanna know why so many people in this world are committing hateful crimes? How man is capable of such evil? How they can brutally attack innocent people? I think it's because they have let themselves stay angry. Their anger has become a monster inside of them that they no longer know what they do. When someone threatens their way of life, instead of thinking how that person may have a point, they go to facebook or their friends and say "I'm tired of hearing about how them liberals think the world is gettin' hotter" or "I'm tired of hearing about how I need to make room for other people's voices and stories". It might have started as an innocent rant, but now we are seeing the culmination of years of anger not being dealt with. And it comes out harsh. And scary. Don't think that you are safe from becoming just like them. We can't let our anger win us over.
Think. Research. Come up with your opinions but listen first. Then share. Fight against evil and for good. Also, don't stay on facebook too long. It only leads to despair. No matter who you are. And don't trust everything you read on the internet. I don't care what you think or how many articles you shared, only like 2 people were concerned about the starbucks cups.