I am sitting in my quiet apartment, writing and thinking. As I sit, the young woman who lives in the apartment above me is doing some sort of work out. The floor is squeaking and I can hear her moving all around her space. I guess it’s really not that quiet, but it still feels peaceful in this moment.
Yesterday I cleaned and did laundry so everything feels clean and fresh. Most people walking into my home notice how neat my space is, but I know that I don’t actually CLEAN my place as often as I should. I always seem to have at least a dozen things going on every day that seem more important to me than cleaning house. Yesterday though, I bit the bullet and actually cleaned. It feels lovely.
With all the loveliness of my clean home and the peaceful quiet, I feel sad. I am saddened by some personal things that are going on and I am saddened by so much of what I read in the news each day. Sadness is not an emotion I choose to dwell in, but there have been a lot of things going on in my life lately that make me sad. I’ve already written about my philosophy for working through unpleasant emotions, so I am choosing not to dwell on that subject again. Instead, I am choosing to write about some of my beliefs. I am going to try and focus on the positive ones and lean away from the negative ones:
I believe that this country has come a long way in improving how people relate to each other. I believe that those who still judge others by the color of their skin or by the faith they follow are in the minority. However, too many events in the world around us are showing us how much further we have to go.
I believe it’s better to get involved and try to effect change rather than just sit around complaining about how horrible things are.
I believe in the people’s ability to pick good people to represent them in our government. However, I am appalled at the political environment our country is now experiencing. I have thought long and hard, like many, wondering how on earth Donald Trump is seen as such a viable candidate. I have told many people that if he gets elected, I am leaving the country. However, I have now changed my mind. I have a voice. I am going to work hard to try and get someone else elected. If, by some madness, he is actually elected, I will stay in this country and work to help and protect anyone whose voice is taken away from them by bigotry.
I believe people are usually trying to be good people. Their experiences and education may be so different than mine that it’s hard to recognize, but I think most people try. I have seen angry people who have been taught negative lessons and look at the world with fear, but even those people try to do what’s right by their own ethical barometer.
I believe that most anger is based on fear. It may be fear of the unknown, or fear of being “not good enough,” but usually, the root cause is fear. Whenever I am angry I try to ask myself what I am really afraid of. Once I break my emotions down in that way, I am better able to move forward and cope with what’s going on. I also try to remember that premise when someone else gets angry. I try to recognize what they’re afraid of and then work to help calm that fear.
I believe that as we go through our lives we meet many people who we interact with, earn karma with, join karma to and those energies keep showing up in our world until we get it right. A friend of mine recently said, “I don’t know if I believe in soul mates, but I sure believe in a soul tribe.” I love that idea and agree wholeheartedly with him. Our soul tribe is made up of those people who you instantly connect with from the first moment you meet. These are the people that keep calling you just as you’re reaching for the phone to call them.
I believe that just because it’s your karma to have someone in your life that doesn’t mean you can’t learn your lesson from them and move on. Someone can be in your life to help you learn a life lesson, but it doesn’t have to become a life sentence.
I believe that my paintings and my writing will start making money. I believe that the day will come when I can comfortably support myself on those earnings and the money I make teaching. As a society we have bought into the belief that we have to work within the system to be successful. I believe success is what you define it to be.
I believe that when things go wrong, sometimes you need to sit in it, feel your emotions, and deal with it. I don’t like living in negativity, but sometimes I have to stop and deal with my emotions instead of burying them with alcohol or sleep. This post is evidence of that belief. Instead of fighting my sadness I am writing around my fears and addressing them that way. It isn’t always comfortable to do this, but it always helps.
My apartment is again quiet and the early spring sun is shining through my windows. The “real” world is starting to tug at me and it’s time for me to focus on the things I need to get done. I am reluctant to leave the stillness of my thoughts, but I feel more hopeful than I’ve felt for a while. I believe that, maybe, someone reading this feels a little better too.
Painting: The Sun Still Rises, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, ©2019 Jean McGuire
(This post was originally written in the Fall of 2016, before the election that will now live in infamy (at least in my heart.)