On Wednesday afternoon of this week I was on the phone with a friend when his wife interrupted the call to say that protestors had just breached the United States capitol building. After hanging up, I turned on the television to find out what was happening. It reminded me of 9/11. Even though personally I was not a building terrorized nor a victim of any physical harm, I felt in my body a visceral violation.
Where does one go in the midst of such violence without and discord within?
I think of don Miguel Ruiz's 5 guides to personal freedom:
Be impeccable with your word.
Don't take anything personally.
Don't make assumptions.
Always do your best.
Be skeptical, but learn to listen
I heard a story years ago of a therapist who came home each night exhausted by all the tragic and stressful stories she heard and helped navigate through with her clients. She came up with the idea to touch a tree's bark before she entered the house and "leave all her negativity outside" where it could possibly be used to "fertilize" the tree; this reminded me of all the banana peels, coffee grounds and eggshells that composted for our family home's shrubbery mulch.
If you've been reading enough of my Two Fries blog then you understand the inference I'm making.
Whatever response (or reaction!) you have to what's going on in the District of Columbia these days, pay attention to your own district- that place that is mostly in your control. Be careful of what you say aloud (see guide #1 above); avoid internalizing (guide #2); filter a lot of the news (guide #3); let this mess inspire the best in you (guide #4); and (guide #5) listen for the hurts in other people, the "other side", our nation and world.
As Alice and I said on the eve of the November election (see video here), no one loses what can't be stolen. Written in one of the corridors in our nation's Capitol is this quote from Daniel Webster: "One country, one Constitution, one destiny."