Independence Day 2022

Today is an interesting day, full of varying emotions about the state of our country. Personally, I have had a beautiful day, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. For others, they are “full of rage”, “refuse to celebrate” and so on. The current state of our country is, without a doubt, tumultuous. We are a divided people, right vs left, me vs. you, right vs. wrong. There are so many things going on right now that just don’t make sense: mass shootings (and one today), guns out of control, mental health is poor for so many, and a recent Roe v. Wade reversal that has so many outraged. Don’t get me wrong, I am not in any way happy about any of these things. It saddens me to know that I grew up in the “land of the free” and the “best country on earth” which is debatably neither at this point.

The American Flag: What does this even mean anymore? Somehow, some way, this is now a symbol of conservative, right wing, Trump voters, I am not sure how that happened? To me, I still want to see the flag as a symbol of the beautiful (yes, flawed) country I live in. I may not believe that anymore, but I am trying.

I’m going to be really honest about why I chose to write this. Damn social media! Our family took a beautiful hike today. Weather: perfect. Wildflowers: amazing! Kid’s attitudes: pretty darn good! A rare time that all four of us were together, and out enjoying our “backyard”. I came home, shared the pics, and titled it “I love where I live part 2. Happy 4th y’all”! Within a few minutes, I came upon other perspectives, those who are outraged and refuse to celebrate today. In the name of not being judged, or coming across as “right” (which I am not, by the way) or “insensitive to the state of injustice in our country”, I quickly changed “Happy 4th y’all” to “have a great day y’all”. And as I sit here, I worry that saying “I love where I live” will be perceived to mean, “I love our country, vote Trump!” or something like that. Isn’t that sad?? Why do I think that way?? What I really mean is: Colorado is a beautiful place to live and play and I feel lucky to enjoy it today. Yet on social media, perceptions are through the reader’s lens and are often skewed because of it. Me included!

Here’s my perspective on the state of the world today, and how I’m choosing to approach it. Yep, things are undeniably in turmoil. Other countries do not look to as the greatest anymore. Friends, I see you and your passion and I respect you for it. And for your courage to put yourself out there with your opinions. However, I do not think rage is the answer. I think it is possible to be an activist, passionate about rights, and not full of hate. Why? Because that serves to put more negativity into the world. Can we stay positive, raise the collective vibration and still make a change? I believe we can… Lastly, holding rage tends to hurt one person the most: the enraged person. I ask you this: Does holding rage make you feel better? Do you think you accomplish more because of it? Or is there another way? I recognize that this sounds sarcastic, but I assure you it is not. I am asking you to consider another perspective. How is the rage impacting you, personally? If the answer goes something like: I am mad, anxious, fearful, stressed, sleepless, lost, helpless, numbing… I urge you to reconsider. Do something good for the world and for you.

Today I ask: Can we appreciate and love one another? Can we seek out the positive in our daily lives? Can we actively observe when we are having negative thoughts and try to let them go? Can we infuse positive energy into our interactions? A tall order, maybe. Am I perfect or even good at this? Nope. But I’m trying. I’m a flawed human who is willing to learn and grow, and my friends that is all I want for you too! If we see the world as a terrible place, then that is what the world shows us. If we see the world as amazing, then beauty is shown to us at every turn. I am not naive enough to think there isn’t hate, atrocities, or horrific things occurring in the world. I am simply asking that we collectively seek the beauty in it too.

“Having resentment against someone is like drinking poison and thinking it will kill your enemy.”

― Nelson Mandela

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