All Over the Place–
It’s not easy giving a Siberian Husky a bath. On Saturday, it was Trooper’s turn and with Beth on the mend from a surgical procedure last week I got to do it by myself. This isn’t Trooper in the video but this is Trooper when we wash him. He hates it. He does okay for a few moments and then begins to howl, run away, lay down, sit down, and walk in circles. The most frustrating is when he begins to shake the dingy water and soap off. It gets all over the place. He does this over and over again until the washer is as dirty and wet as himself.
Last week, and the last month, the politics of America have been making me sick. It was never so blatant as the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanaugh. Both parties were hostile to each other, insulted their colleagues and those who supported or were against the judge’s selection and election to the supreme court. Protestors from both sides fought with each other, senators exhibited outrageous and unacceptable behavior, used people to further the agenda of their political party, staged dramatic and outlandish speeches and stunts. The President of the United States mocked a victim of sexual assault.
The toxic political environment of our country is poisoning us all. The corruption, lust for power, uncaring for others, bad behavior, hate speech, is spilling all over the place and none of us are immune.
Charging Stations –
Where do we recharge? Where is a place we can go to renew and rejuvenate our body, emotions, mind, and spirit? One of the concepts I learned in a training I attended this week in Nashville, Tennessee was that everyone needs a safe place to go and refill, as one presenter said; “the “joy” juice.
These recharging stations are especially important if your life is filled with stress. Stress drains our brains, our souls. It has a way of stealing the “joy” from us and replacing it with a toxic combination which certainly damages us short-term and can damage us for a lifetime.
This is why places such as a church, park, gym, community center, friend’s house, favorite restaurant, mall or a backyard swing or hammock, can make a huge difference in our lives. These places give us an opportunity to breathe, clear our heads, relax, let go, reflect and process difficult experiences and relationships, simply be without needing to do anything else.
Recharging is not just for phones, tablets, and computers. It’s necessary for all of us whose batteries are running low.
This morning in church we were finishing a song and the song leader asked us to be seated. Beth had on a beautiful gray, black and white scarf wrapped around her neck and as we were sitting it ended up between the person and seat back of the pew in front of us. Beth was sitting and all a sudden the scarf now pressed into the pew by the woman couldn’t sit back she was stuck, tethered to someone we didn’t know. The situation was absurd and funny and we both got the giggles. I reached over to pull it from between the woman and pew and realized there was a lot of scarf to retrieve. Luckily, we weren’t seated for long and we stood back up expecting the woman to do the same. Unfortunately, she didn’t. Argh! Beth then began to pull the scarf little by little until, finally, she had freed herself and was careful not to lean too far forward again.
In life, there are times we find ourselves tethered to someone or a group that chokes the life out of us. We might not notice it at first but sooner or later we find we must be free or suffer. Cutting the cord, letting go, escaping from a toxic relationship is hard but it is better than the life being pulled out of us.
There’s a funny, not so funny, saying that goes; “The world would be great if it wasn’t for all the people!”
I spoke with someone today who’s going through a difficult time. His relationship with someone important is slipping away and he can’t do anything to stop it. I know this because he told me all the ways he’s tried to stop it and nothing has worked. As we talked I reminded him of the troubling, but truthful news, that if someone decides not to be a part of your life anymore there’s not much to do but accept it.
Sometimes people stay in toxic relationships because what you know is better than what you don’t. However, sometimes one-half of the poisoned couple chooses to end it. Most of the time, even when it’s for our own good, it’s difficult to let go of someone we’ve shared a significant portion of our life.
Wisdom teaches us to keep an open hand on all things and with some things to turn your hand over and empty it. Relationships, be it marriages, partners, friends or co-workers should be built upon trust, love, kindness and mutual growth. When they go bad and there’s no hope of restoration it’s best to let go and move on.