How you feel is all in the focus
Susan G. Komen, Eddie Long and Me
I decided some time ago that I would not use these posts to discuss politics or religious preference and I won’t. This blog is about Wellness and Transformation; for me and the many, many folks who find their way here. I’ve heard from readers who use this as their morning coffee and from some who share it with their office co-workers. One woman reads it to a blind person and there is a spiritual intuitive who shares it with all of her clients. On twitter there are folks who retweet everything I post and there are some who sit quietly at lunch reading my words as a mid-day snack. I value your participation and the fact that you have made this work a part of your life. So I truly mean it when I say that I wish only joy and peace for the time you are reading these posts.
So now, that I have apologized before the act (I can see my brother Kevin who stood himself in the corner if he did anything wrong,) let me say that on this road to transformation, I sometimes find myself very angry.
It happened this week with the announcement and then “reversal” from the folks at the Susan G. Komen head office and then when I watched a video of Eddie Long being made a “king” by a man who claimed to be a rabbi.
I won’t go into the details of either of these events, I’m sure you’ve heard and seen enough of them. My point in sharing is to say that where sin abounds, grace does more so, and we are the grace.
I have to remind myself that even with all of the chaos going on in the world from Syria to Russia and everywhere you live, there are things happening that bring joy. We often miss the wonderful stories because we get focused on the extreme opposite. And if there is no drama we have to make some drama have mercy.
I sat on a plane next to a woman who was reading a magazine filled with pages devoted to checking on who in Hollywood had cheek implants. When she was done flipping through those pages (because really, what is there to read) she opened another rag filled with the latest updates on Kim Kardashian. For a few moments I wondered why someone would buy this stuff and then I wondered why I was looking in her magazine. We were in first class people. There is too much to learn, to know, to see and be inspired by for me to get lost in the stuff of someone else.
Whenever I get distracted by news, crazy, sad or otherwise, I remind myself of The Cowtown Work to Ride Polo Team from Philadelphia. Now if you haven’t heard of them, you are not alone. I heard the story of this all-black national winning polo club long after they’d won the title. A woman/angel named Lezlie Hiner started the Work to Ride program as a way to give horseback riding lessons to underprivileged kids form Philadelphia and in exchange they would do work around the barn; hence the name Work to Ride. When the kids started out, they had never even been on a horse and yet they went on to become National Polo champions winning against their wealthy- born-on-a-horse rivals.
These kids are from Philly, which is only 25 minutes from where I grew up in Wilmington, Delaware. This all happened in March of 2011 but I didn’t hear about them until January 2012 because like the rest of us, I was focused on something else.
Don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying that you should turn away from all of the tough stuff that’s going on in the world, nor am I saying that you should only focus on the good; I am saying that if we are to be well, we must be balanced. We can’t overdose on the daily fix of what’s wrong and we can’t just float like everything is fine; we have to find our balance.
I get angry when I see injustice, when a child is abused and a mother can’t get the help she needs. I am grieved by the atrocities of war and can’t watch a movie that reenacts rape—I cannot. When I become angry, sad enraged and repulsed, it must be a starting point; a place where my frustration becomes a catalyst towards an action for change.
When she was asked why she taught polo, “the sport of kings”, to underprivileged kids, Lezlie Hiner said that she once saw the way a young man responded and changed by touching and being around a horse. She had horses, so she decided to do something.
I thought of all of the folks who have helped me change because they were touched my something that enabled them to see that they could shine their light on a problem.
The problems of the world will get you frustrated, and they should. But we have to move beyond the point where they become something for us to discuss and be angry about to a place where they enable us to change ourselves and affect change in others.
· What in the news made you angry this week?
· How can you move from anger to an agent of change?
· What can you give/do or be to the life of someone in need?
· How has someone affected change in your life by sharing their own.
· Tell someone you love them.
When the stuff of life gets you down; shift your focus.
Be you, be well, BE New
Bertice berry, PhD.