Tuesday, February 14, 2017

In the thick of it

I joined Facebook about 5 years later than most everyone else.  At some level, I just knew that it would be like a drunk in a liquor store.  The extrovert in me would want to be catching up with everyone all the time.  The sensitive part of me would get hurt by the judgement and hostile things people say. 

But I eventually had to join to connect with a new group of friends as that was their main mode of communication.   I put limits on my time, on the number of people I friended and what I would post about. It helped keep things in check and sane. 

But things have gotten out of whack.  I am spending too much time on Facebook now and I am thinking about what is said there way too much when I am away from Facebook. 

I have an image of my well of peace.  Its a well inside a courtyard in a vast and beautiful garden.  That well feeds the plants in the garden.  It must have good water for all the good and beautiful things to grow.  Enemies may surround the garden and take it over and destroy all the beautiful flowers and plants, but if the well is protected, then even when destruction happens, the garden can come back.  If the well gets tainted, the garden just cannot grow.

So these days, I feel like I am having to work really hard to protect my well of peace.  I am pushed in by events in the world and the stresses of life around me.  They are forcing their way toward my well of peace. 

I need to reclaim some land, push back on these stressful things.   To keep my well of peace intact, I need to say no and turn my back on things that are encroaching. 

I am in the thick of motherhood.  A teenager, a preschooler and one in between.  I know this is a short time of my life and they are the primary recipients of any good water from my well.   So I am saying no to Facebook, at least for a while, and turning my attentions to things that feed this garden and keep us growing.  I'm cultivating. 

Saturday, February 4, 2017

what a body really is

I am purchasing glasses online for the first time.  After 20 years of being a mostly contacts wearer, I now have a condition (giant papilla conjunctivitis- don't google it!)  that makes regular everyday all -day glasses necessary.

If you haven't done it before, to buy glasses online you upload a picture of yourself looking straight at the camera and then you virtually try on glasses by selecting them.  It does save time and is a lot cheaper, but I found myself going through the same litany of internal dialogue that I have in the brick and mortar glasses store.

"that makes my nose look too long. . . that one does too . .. maybe my nose is just too long!  That makes my eyes look old  . . . so do those  . . . so do those. . .  maybe I am just old!!"

and on it goes about chin(s), hair etc, etc

A variant of this goes on in the dressing room at every store, a catalog of all the parts of me that don't fit the clothes on the hanger.

 I know this discontent with my body is part of the burden I bear as a woman living in America.  I have seen this same attitude in the women in my family and my friends.  The voices from the outside telling us how we should look have come on so strong for so long, we have forgotten how to see ourselves as we really are and rejoice in that.

Ironically, I was interrupted in the middle of writing this by a sleepy preschooler needing cuddles.   To give cuddles, you need a lap and arms and that quality of tenderness that comes with a heart of love.  You don't need to be skinny, you don't need great abs, a tight butt or any other part of your body to be "perfect".  

And that is what our bodies are-  they are a gift.  A gift to us to help us live,  and a gift to others to give them what they need to live and thrive.  They are not bad, they are not to be judged, they are to be honored and used in service to others. 

And that is what I will say to myself when I put on my new glasses. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

equity vs equality

"Equality is treating everyone the same. But equity takes differences into account so everyone has a chance to succeed. The first one sounds fair.  The second one is fair."
Jodi Picoult

If you have read any Jodi Picoult books, you know the formula.  Moral dilemma + trial + twist at the ending= a book you can't put down.  I have read a few of her books and though they aren't Pulitzer level, they do really get you in the shoes of the character and to think about ethical choices you may not have considered.

Small Great Things follows the formula, but deals with an issue that touches every American- racism.  It was inspired by a true story of an African-American nurse who was asked by a white supremacist couple to not touch their baby.  From there is a journey of learning what it is like from the other side.  If you are black, you will see inside the heart of a white supremacist and see the pain and anger that fuels his hate.  If you are white, you will see a few of the millions of slights and injuries that a black woman faces in her life. 

I wouldn't call this a great book, but it is good.  And at a time when we can be so divided, we all need help to see.