If I ever have kids- Mr. Roger's and Sesame Street will be involved in the family teachings.
But maybe we should have never stopped watching...
As an adult I've revisited Mr. Rogers - watched "Won't You Be My Neighbor", rewatched episodes (when Christian died I had an episode binge -- it was what my heart wanted the week back at the gym), snagged a copy of "LIFE: Mister Rogers" this year- and I cannot help but see parallels to what he and others taught to what's going on now.
It's been difficult for me to say anything about what is going on. So I haven't until now. I've had many perspectives, many questions, discussions. I've felt confused and heavy. Like many. First of all, anger is not my most readily-available emotion. Sadness, depression, inner-frustration are a little more familiar.
Where do YOU tend to go? Share here. I tend to hurt a lot, for what's misunderstood in the world, and around me. I hurt for our lack of seeing each other and hearing each other. It used to be the most depressing thing to me- to see someone or myself unseen, unheard, forgotten, neglected, mistreated, dismissed. When I used to focus on the sadness of the reality that this is all around, I would feel depression regularly, and it was part of my life; heart-broken by how amazing, nurturing, heroic, and awesome humans can be, and also how disturbing, insensitive, wicked and blind too. How can humans have such a potential for both?! I've seen a lot of posts commenting on the emotions and actions that are acceptable or expected in a time like this. I don't agree there are appropriate ways to show care while also processing sadness and anger. All forms of these emotions are allowed to be felt, and might influence someone's actions. But both emotions and actions have an impact and consequences. I've been thinking about my the impact I can make, based on the emotions I regularly experience and the actions I will take. I've been thinking about the consequences of my focuses, thoughts, emotions and actions.... When Christian died some of us were so overcome with grief, we could barely move from the bed. Some of us were also so overcome with grief, we made sure everyone else was fed and taken care of, to stay busy. Some of us went to planning his memorial and running errands, while still others offered our service in any way anyone needed. We operated differently. We all fell into roles; roles that were natural to our dispositions, and those roles and behaviors even changed with time, evolving as time passed. My point is; no one was doing the exact same thing, but overall we were helping each other move through, and learning.
There was no one slowing down the healing or the moving-through (though some arguments and disagreements did break out due to differing perspectives on the best way to go about planning a memorial- we operated as a unit, a family, who shared the pain, and whose actions were in line with an ultimate outcome-which was to move through, to have a successful memorial event, considering all our needs and wants as best as we could, and to hold each other in love).
How do we act like a family now in this movement?
What are your thoughts, seriously? Share here.
I grew up with the sense of being "the other", poor, feeling unfit and uncomfortable in rich white people's homes, mixed "white" and "brown" but painfully aware of not having straight blonde hair and blue eyes, being "outside". A lot of my personal growth has come in identifying as a human, and a soul. And nothing else. (This is our growth-path, together) Now, as woman, I notice the fear in me when I'm alone and see a man's figure in the corner of my eye- I scan like crazy for all signs of possible danger with him there. Everything in my body changes. That fear of that danger lurks and painted my whole existence as a female. Still, I do not know and will never know in this lifetime what it feels like to be black , and I cannot speak from that real experience or the emotions that go along with the sadness and anger related to that shameful disgusting part of our American history and how it plays out in personal experience today. My experience does, however, allow me to feel the emotions that go along with being a HUMAN who is sickened by how fellow-humans have repeatedly, throughout history, justified plain-old cruelty from a place of lacking compassion and love for one another. When I look at what little I know about the experience of racism, I know I cannot come from personal experience in feeling it, but I can relate as a human who generally knows suffering, as we all do. I think back to those times after my brother was killed: We all fell into our roles- some of us helped, others needed help- and we all came together. But none of us blamed. None of us hurt one another. When I see a family hurting in different ways from a shared emotional trauma, how can one way of grieving be better than another, as long as there is not hurting of another in the process? Unfortunately what someone classifies as "hurting" is subjective. How to change that? To me, I know I am not helping a situation like this, when the world NEEDS love, understanding, and compassion (as it always has needed and will always need for any humans cohabiting if they want to avoid certain negative experiences)-- because coming from any place other than love, personally is not taking advantage of how I choose to help. My goal is to positively contribute to the collective. Because just like when someone is in a bad mood in a family, it's pretty easy for the rest of the family to pick it up, and feel brought down, or want to avoid that person, or develop their own negative thoughts-emotions and how we express them do cause a ripple effect. I want to see how I can see myself and my emotions and actions in a way that is helping this HUMAN family-unit operate optimally, succeed, heal, love, and move through. I see so much division, so much comparison and judging, it detracts from what actually bonds us and unites us as a force for good. There is a problem with people feeling DIVIDED instead of collaborative There is spite when one group feels they are better-than rather than equal-to. There is division when we believe we are actually divided. Because the place we all come from is the same- we come from Love. From source. From energy. And the things we all want are the same; love, happiness, safety. We all were children once, who played and wanted to be held and nurtured. But adults don't seem to care much about this. They get wrapped up in details of how we are "different" and continue finding evidence of how we are different in groups and in individuals and love to argue about how right they are, how smart they are, and how wrong and stupid the other is when in reality- they both want the same thing right now- to help.
I can't seem to escape a heaviness when I think of how sick I am of our lowly-human tendencies. I want to move away from them, but it's hard.
We easily can get caught up in what distracts us from what we all want and care about, if we're coming from a place of "I want to help." Simplification is needed over complexity. And I believe the feeling and concepts of Love are what can help drive us all in the same direction for big impact.
I've decided on an action for now and have chosen to meditate and send out what GOODNESS I can personally generate.
So I've been doing that- morning and evening and sometimes midnight like tonight- meditating and focused on my impact; my heart and mind goes all over the country, across seas and I see a soft grid-like wrap around our planet- I try to reach out to that because it encases everybody. I know I am not alone in doing this. I know I am silently helping in my way. I know how it looks to some who don't understand or believe this is not the way to help. That it's too idealistic or unrealistic. Jordan Peterson figuratively spoke about depression, and suffering by relating an individual's responsibility for their suffering and how it can make an impact in a group-tragedy; "...Suffering is real- it's inescapable. So the question is what do you do about it? What do you do in the face of that suffering? TRY AND REDUCE IT.Start with yourself. What good are you? Get yourself together for Christ sakes so that when your father dies you're not whining away in the corner and you can help plan the funeral and you can stand up solidly so that people can rely on you." That always stood out to me- only because it made me think- how can people rely on me? What does "standing up" look like to me? When I suffer, what affect does it have on others at "the funeral" (our reality right now)... ? I don't think there is one clear answer on how to HELP. But what about defining "help"? What do YOU truly think "helping" looks like on a micro and macro scale? (I'm taking the long way of sharing my personal answers to those questions, in this post.) I wish for people to practice compassion and love and understanding in their own lives, with their own families, and with every stranger they meet, to see how we are alike, over and over, constantly, in every-day lives, to change the way we view each other and ourselves. Behind every age, every profession, every body- every detail - how are we alike? How do we look into someone eyes no matter what, and see that alikeness? How do our hearts and souls match? And how can we teach children in school to come from this place of seeing ALIKENESS? How do we make seeing ALIKENESS a normal thing over seeing differences in raising children? -So that when they're adults making rules and creating systems and entering careers, they are still coming from that place of understanding/compassion/love/alikeness because IT'S SO NORMAL TO OPERATE FROM THAT PLACE! We're all the Human race. How can we continuously act from this truth? Why is there an issue with this?! Our human existence is trivial. Our soul existence is not. I want to operate from my soul, rather than the limiting confines of our human wiring that experiences judgement, jealousy, assumptions, possessiveness.
The soul operates from Love and understanding. Mr. Rogers understood this.
What are some ways you will be HELPING and would you share them below to offer up more ideas for us?