Note: I can hardly believe it’s been almost six months since I last posted in this blog. If you haven’t seen my new blog, “The ABCs of Spirituality“, please take a look. Clearly, I have been devoting more time to that one lately.
This week, my focus has been on pain, heartache, rape culture, abuses of power, and broken governmental systems. By the end of the Kavanaugh hearing Thursday night, I felt disgusted, disappointed, drained, exhausted, and cynical. I could have stayed on Facebook the rest of the night and all day Friday, fueling those feelings, but something in me said, “It’s okay to stop.”
This small voice is not unlike the voice that I cultivated during my recovery from Binge Eating Disorder that chimes in when I suddenly realize I’ve been mindlessly eating or eating past the point of feeling full: “It’s okay to stop. You’re okay. It’s going to be okay.” That voice is far more gentle now than it was 13 years ago when my inner critic would scream, “What the hell are you doing?!” and continue ranting from there.
But Thursday night the voice inside me simply said, “It’s okay to stop.” Essentially, “It’s okay to change your focus.” I put my phone in the other room. I stood up and stretched. I journaled. I went to bed early.
Friday I chose to be present with my clients and my daily tasks. Friday night, I chose self-care: a walk, a book, my favorite dessert, and time spent with my cats.
Today I realize that it matters where I choose to place my focus. As a photographer, I can choose to focus on an object in the background, which will blur the foreground or vice versa. I have control over my focus.
So, today I choose to focus on caring people who act in helpful and compassionate ways: I choose to focus on the loving way my clients are raising their son with special needs. I choose to focus on the volunteers I learned about who post messages of love and hope on bridges from which people have died by suicide. I choose to focus on my elderly neighbor who sweeps sidewalks and cleans trash from the grounds outside our apartment building. I choose to focus on my co-therapists who give a compassionate heart and attentive mind to those who need it. I choose to focus on Kitten Lady and Cat Man Chris and others who foster cats and are examples of caring stewardship. I choose to focus on the tens of thousands of people who recognize their personal power to create change in Washington by voting “blue” in November.
And I choose to remember Anne Lamott‘s words from her book, “Grace Eventually”: “Grace bats last.”
On what will you choose to focus today?
Peace, joy, and health,