WriteTogether Reflection: Week Two

The number of times I caught myself literally typing “that will make no sense to anyone who is not inside my brain” this week makes me laugh. I am working on trying to write in response to the prompt in front of me, which can be tough sometimes if I am not quite ready to write. Sometimes I have to start with restating the prompt, like I am having a conversation with myself through the keyboard. I know it is because I have had a lot going on, and some projects have been taking over my brain when the news about what is going on around the world is on a backburner for a moment or two. Typically, I am able to just jump right in, and roll somewhere with the prompt. But this week was tough to do that. In typical fashion, this is probably also because some of the prompts were a little uncomfortable.

I pushed through though, practiced deep breathing and sips of water to help me unstick my brain. I can feel my focus muscles re-centering and coming back to life a bit, I know that writing every day helps with this and I also know that I wont be able to hang onto that focus in the same way as we decrease writing days… sigh. Magic brains are exhausting sometimes, aren’t they?

I reflected on a lot of things this week that I don’t normally even tune into. As reflective as I make a habit of being, I don’t make a habit to check in with myself about grief and unease or joy and delight. As I wrote each morning, I had to fight the urge to keep writing once I got started. Once the words started coming it was like a floodgate and I had to remind myself that letting it go unchecked would not only make my kid late to school, but it would also wear me out. Too much of a good thing, also falls under the “too much” category.

That has been sitting with me deeply this week. The too muchness of so many things in the world.

Too much pain, sorrow, hatred, and war. Too much stuff to fill closets and rooms and time with. Too many expectations, pressures, and demands. Too much power in too many unchecked and conceited hands, too much injustice and uncertainty. Too many scars, and too many stories told without permission to sell things nobody needs. Too many lies, too much trash talk, too much spitefulness and indifference, too much corporate and individual greed. Too many people being too still and too quiet. Too many words…

Sitting with the too muchness is unbearable sometimes. I cant solve or resolve much of it, and there’s so much it feels weighty and helpless.

Taking time to pause and remember that just because I cant do everything doesn’t mean I cant do something, that I am someone who is capable of making real change, is a practice. Without that pause, I spin down into some weird and exhausting rabbit hole. But that breath, that pause, helps me to slow the spin so I start sorting through to figure out what I actually can do, and what would truly have the impact I intend. As overwhelming as that all is, I am convinced that is the work.

It occurred to me during my reflections this week that this overwhelm and scattered feeling is probably related to being a healer. That may make no sense if you aren’t inside my brain (see what I did there), but the thing is that a lot of the things I find myself doing has to do with creating or protecting sanctuary spaces. The world falling apart and coming undone, it’s the grief and pain and hatred that weigh on me. The healing the world needs. Knowing it wont be a simple healing. There are small things we can all do now to help lead us to healing, a little bit at a time.

There are some really deep and grievous wounds in the world. And I am not able to heal them. Some wounds don’t heal, actually, you just learn to live with them or you kill and die from them. But I can’t heal the wounds of the world, I can only do what I can do to ease pain and fight injustices that cause the wounding, and band together with the community to do the same.  

So that’s where I am as I close week two. Thinking about community, partnerships, healing, and reflecting on grief and unease, and wondering how marveling in and protecting the joy and delight of others would change the way we show up in all this too muchness.