what in the world?

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Tomorrow marks our sweet Rosie Grace’s fourth week of life. And what’s happened over the past 28 days? Well, let’s see: mass murders in Nice, France and throughout the world, the slayings of innocent citizens and police officers in the U.S., and the constant mass hysteria surrounding November’s contentious election. I enjoy reading and learning about the news, but I feel like a floating head these days – lost, soulless, and disoriented by the world around me. Everything seems scary. Everything seems bad. And I feel trapped in the middle of it, still trying to piece together my identity down here in the country, a new mother again, in a new house, in a new community, occupying a post-partum body that looks and feels a bit foreign.

These are crazy times. Not just for me, but for everyone. More than ever, I am recognizing the essentiality of grounding one’s self. Whether it be a commitment to your faith, your health, education, or family, we all need to be tethered to something in this world. We need the constancy of something we can be sure of, something we trust, and, for me, that always boils down to the fundamentals of life: love and kindness.

I feel most centered at unexpected moments these days – feeling the softness of Rosie’s pink skin as she nestles into my arms while we nurse; watching the glow on Jack’s face during a rousing game of Monopoly Junior. Joy is packaged in simplicity and it is the quickest route back to my humanity.

I don’t know what more we can say about the state of the world. None of us want to become conditioned to this level or frequency of violence. And whether we support him or not, our collective incredulity over Trump politics has only empowered a distracting and dangerous movement among American people. It’s taken me months to accept that I am not going to find my bearings in the repetitive banter of MSNBC or clever, self-congratulatory Twitter feed. I’ve got nothing more clever or groundbreaking to say on these subjects than anyone else, so I’ve decided to step back and shift toward quiet action instead. 

There are so many small ways I can more effectively infuse love and kindness into my daily interactions. I can make an effort to share my positive thoughts in excess of my negative ones. I can think beyond my own self to achieve clarity about how I might be of service to others. And I can better value my time by making sure I spend it in ways that are fulfilling, not draining.

And although I’m still adjusting to the solitude and pace of life in such a rural area, I wonder if this might be exactly the place for me at the moment, somewhere with ample opportunity to reject the toxicity that is permeating and polluting our larger culture. I don’t want to be a participant in the madness. I don’t want to enable an increasingly contagious climate of fear.

We only have control over so much in life. Loving big, staying kind, and finding things to care about are all within our ability. And while it seems trite to uphold these practices on an individual level, my heart tells me that these individual efforts are our best chance of healing our collective conscious. 
 
So, onward we go, hopefully spreading a little kindness along the way. XO


5 thoughts on “what in the world?

  1. Once again Abby I am struck by how much more mature than me you are! Ok, just semi serious. These are crazy times. I find how people respond also depends on their ability to express and manage strong emotions. Maybe it comes from my years as a psychotherapist but I see so many people who either don’t/can’t feel or who are flooded and overwhelmed with feelings. What I hope is that, wherever we are grographically, that we stay connected emotionally. It worries me when people react to Trump and the presidential race by tuning out to it all, by stepping away from their role as citizens. Clearly you have to manage how much coverage of all the intense bad news you can tolerate. But whenever we back off, someone else comes into the political space to take that space. I DONT want it to be a scared, racist ignorant person who thinks Hilary Clinton is the devil. However we manage this campaign, the outcome really really matters. So–that’s my two, three or four cents
    By the way, you and the bebé look wonderful and I can’t believe your son is so big!!

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  2. Have faith that some of us know the world is more beautiful because of things like you and your baby. The wonder of life…

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  3. Thank you Abby. Every time I read one of your posts, I feel lighter and more encouraged to strive to be that better person. I so look forward to reading your book. No hurry! 🙂
    xxoo

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  4. Abby, you are such a wonderful, wife to TC, mother to Jack and Grace. You always look for the good in everything you do. You hold so much Faith, Love and understanding for life. Your family has been through so much and because of your power not to give up on TC he has made a great recovery. I know he still has this to work on but with you and his family beside him he will make it. Stay strong

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  5. I just discovered your blog, and you truly have a gift with your words and the way you express yourself. I have heard of your journey these past several years through mutual Facebook friends, and I discovered last night that I am one of your fellow country-living neighbors. I hope we have the opportunity to meet one day soon 🙂

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