I’m trying to just breathe. In. Out.
I have been purposely steering clear of news out of Charlottesville. Mainly because I just can’t take it. The hate that abounds in this country is despicable. And it makes my heart hurt immensely. How anyone can condone such actions or such beliefs is beyond me. Literally.
I have no words and yet I try to find some because writing is catharsis for me.
Putting words down on the page, one after the other, helps me regain clarity and focus. It helps me wrestle with the swirl of emotions that storm inside of me.
Still, I remain weary. Weary of the state of our nation and our planet. Increasingly, I feel hopeless and helpless in this ever-escalating, complex mess of a world.
Maybe I’m naive, but I just want to live my life, and I want that for everyone else, too. I want everyone to live their lives the way they want to — free of oppression, obstruction, injustice, abuse, blame, and hate.
Whenever my anxiety spikes, my gut reaction is to run away. When faced with difficulty, I fantasize about moving to a new city, a new country, a new planet. I wish to get away from the hardships, the roadblocks in my way.
And when those hardships and roadblocks are made up of much larger, greater things than simply dissatisfaction with my job or my home or my personal fulfillment — when the difficulties I see before me are battlements as old as humanity itself, my legs buckle and I want to just give up because I see no path forward. I see no way for me to make a difference, no dent in the obstructive and destructive forces such as hatred and bigotry and racism and all the other concepts with which we as a species struggle.
In such instances, I desperately want off this crazy train of a world. I want desperately out of this seemingly batshit crazy country.
But then I try to remember what I can control. And in the grand scheme of age-old battles between hate and love that have raged since we humans came down from the trees and first stood up on two legs, there truly is little I can control. Save for myself.
And that’s what I focus on. I tell the people I love that I love them. I hold doors open for strangers, I say hello to people on the street. I do my best to exude as much kindness and goodness and love as I can. For it is all I can do.
Though, sometimes, even those seemingly simple acts are too much.
And in those moments, all I can do is just breathe. In. Out.