Good afternoon, dear people,
What a shit show of a weekend for Americans.
It’s coming at us fast. I am among those who believe that this is not a presidency but a coup. I think he is preparing for war. We are in extremely dangerous times, but you don’t need me to tell you that.
Raise your hand if you have emotional whiplash.
I most certainly do. My personal life is great and very happy. I love my church. Good things are happening, and lots of change that we’re handling well. I am in my fourth year with the congregation and more fully understanding systems and seasons and our schedule. We are coping well with major staff transitions. I feel happy to be there every time I’m in the building. We have had some major missional successes.
I feel well connected to justice groups and local efforts to push back the insanity coming out of the federal government. All good.
But watching the news and reading the internet commentary from ordinary Americans who really believe that the New York Times and the Washington Post publish “fake news” is very destabilizing. I get tired more easily trying to process it all. Parish ministers are always shifting gears as it is: very intimate one-on-ones in pastoral care, big leadership conversations with groups, spiritual reflection, political analysis, budget and stewardship and financial work, program planning, social work and emergency outreach, and now protests, the necessity of keeping up with the news (no more “catching up” at weeks end with my Sunday Times), and an onslaught of fear and chaos wreaking havoc on thousands and thousands of lives.
I’m not the only empath who finds it hard to sleep for obsessing about how Executive Orders are acting as an authoritarian cudgel against real people’s lives, mental and physical health, safety, relationships, life plans, and research.
I used to have this lovely skin care regimen that I followed every night: cleanse, apply serum, tap on eye cream, apply moisturizer, let all steps absorb before applying the next one. Now I don’t even wash my face most nights. It’s an effort to brush and floss because I’m so upset and distracted. I think, “Good Christ, why should I brush and floss when there are people being detained by Homeland Security in airports right now?”
I contact my state and Congressional reps several times a week. I rely on e-mail directives for guidance, clarity on issues and scripts for my calls. I am working with my mom, who lives in South Carolina, to do the same. “Each one bring one,” I say at church. The same thing goes for engaged citizenship: each one bring one. Each one teach at least one.
One thing I am managing to cling to is my dedication to keeping my immune system as strong as possible. Sleeping enough, drinking enough water, taking herbal supplements, drinking my fire vinegar tonic on occasion (not too often or I’ll burn my gut!), juicing, and avoiding sugar and fried foods. Taking walks. Getting fresh air. Taking Lysine every day, as I have had two horrible cold sores within the month, and I usually get them every 3-4 months.
I am also swiping everything with these. They smell strongly of thyme but there are worse things.
Stay steady, folks. Keep in close touch with each other.
Consider forming a relay team, where all members agree to follow the news, take action, and participate in the resistance as best they can on a daily basis but who schedule times and days off when the others in their team “cover” for them. Some days I am not strong enough. I need to focus on my little world and ignore everything else. On those days, I can refrain from the moral struggle and guilt of having made that choice because my squad is running with the baton.
I did not invent this idea but I don’t remember where I saw it and so I can’t attribute it, unfortunately.
Wait, yes I can! Diane McCullough says I got it from her!
We’re in this for the long haul. None of us is God, or even Jesus. We cannot save humanity by ourselves.
Oh, also? I feel like I want to incorporate happy and bright colors as accents these days. I have bright colored tights that work great for this purpose: they add a hint of whimsy and joy to otherwise fairly neutral outfits.
You take care, you hear!!?