For a while I have been writing and my writing has been fraught with trouble. Trouble over who will read it or who will not. Was it written smartly, will I offend anyone, am I even right? I’ve been writing but I’ve been afraid of my own words. Who will comment? Who will dispute me? Am I sharing too much? And the ever-present question, am I writing for the right reasons?
Why do I really want to write? To instruct? No. To start an argument? No. To prove my point? No. I want my reasons for writing to be bigger and better than they’ve been in the past. I want my writing to bring people together rather than divide them. I want my writing to feel warm and welcoming. I want my writing to resonate. I want my writing to accomplish more than what seems possible. I want to make music with my words. It all sounds very lofty, and it’s what I’ve wanted all along, since back in the day when I first started this blog. But I’ve been distracted by so many issues. I’ve been caught up in perfection and numbers and trying to figure out what it means to be a real writer.
The temptation is to take down all of my old posts and start from scratch. Clean slate this Lofty Minded in Alaska blog and move forward without looking back. But looking back I can see my own growth. I can see how I was processing the things around me. I’m embarrassed by some of my old posts. So much of my past decade is represented on this blog but it’s a testament to my own personal growth, my own maturation. I’ve floundered about publicly. And I’ll continue to flounder about publicly. But right now on this Epiphany Sunday I’m making the effort to move this blog in a new direction.
We’re living in a most exciting time. Our President’s behavior is unlike anything we’ve seen before in this country. Our planet is warming. Our access to information is unprecedented. Our technological advances are happening faster than most of us can truly comprehend. It’s no wonder that anxiety and hopelessness are at an all time high.
All of these huge, global things are on our minds. But so are our everyday, mundane, and seemingly small lives. We’ve got bills to pay, marriages to celebrate, gardens to plant, chores to attend to, jobs to perform. We’ve got the heavy weight of the world and we’ve got the small joys that make this life worth living. The juxtaposition of the two is overwhelming and sometimes it seems like we have to give one up for the other. We have to give up on watching the news and trying to bring about global change in order to live joyful lives. Or we have to give up our small successes, our moments of beauty, and our personal goals for a better future in order to fight the big fight.
I’m here to tell you that it’s all connected. The small and the big. The mundane and the meaningful. No action, no thought, no hope for a better existence is lost in the enormity of it all. Your life matters. How you live it matters. Your desires, your aspirations, your pursuit of happiness matters. Aligning your own life to fit with what would make the world a more prosperous, happier place for all of humanity is the ticket to bringing the big and the small together. It’s about love and compassion, first and foremost for yourself. If you can forgive yourself for mistakes you’ve made in the past, then you can forgive the president for the mistakes he’s making right now. If you can forgive yourself for your old ways of doing things, you can forgive humanity for its mistakes in harming Earth and its inhabitants. There is still time for correction, but first we have to correct ourselves.
Here is how I am working to correct myself:
- I’m trying to understand that everything and every person is infinitely more complicated than what comes across on the surface. Each person comes with a history that determines their fears, their health, and their outlook on life. Each person is working with what they’ve got, and if they want to grow and change all they have to do is open themselves up to the possibility of growth and change.
- I’m choosing to grow. Learning comes in so many different forms. It’s physical, it’s spiritual, it’s intellectual. A person can only stay stagnant by choosing to stay stagnant. Choosing to change with a changing world is survival, it’s adaptability, it’s the only thing that makes sense. Stagnation is a losing strategy, and I’m opening myself up to possibilities that are beyond my imagination. I’m doing it consciously, because I see it as my only hope.
- I’m giving up on trying to sound smart or artsy or clever. I’m letting my heart lead me forward, and trusting that it will direct my mind.
- I’m submitting to something that is much bigger than myself. I don’t know best how to define it, and the definition of what it is doesn’t really matter. It’s the submission to it that matters. I know that my mind cannot comprehend the vast universe and everything that is beyond my own experience. There is great comfort in this submission.
- I’m finding my sense of purpose. I don’t know what I need to do to move the trajectory of life in a more positive direction, but I know I need to align myself with what’s right. What’s right is Peace. Love. Forgiveness. Kindness. Compassion. What’s right is protecting the planet that nourishes our bodies and our souls. What’s right is trying to see the good or the potential good in every person. Every. Person. Even the ones that are not currently aligned with what’s right.
- I’m asking for grace. I’m making myself vulnerable and I’m taking a tremendous risk in how I write and what I write. I’m asking in advance for grace and I’ll offer it to you in return.
I know this all sounds vague, but I’m putting this out there in order to take a step that I’ve needed to take. Stay tuned for posts that are less vague and in the meantime know that we are not doomed. Not individually, not collectively. Love will guide us and give us the energy we need to move forward. Say you believe it, even if you don’t.