It has been many moons since I have written something for this blog. I am at the point where I must write if I am going to survive. The past year has been brutal. The discord and just plain ugliness that led up to the election last week has been worse than I remember ever experiencing before. Like others, since Tuesday night, I have been in what we used to call  “a funk.” I currently define that as something just short of depression—–something that is almost paralyzing that makes it hard to do anything. I’ve stopped caring about doing what I know keeps me healthy. I’ve had trouble sleeping. I am forgetting to take my medication as prescribed. I am forgetting to eat, and when I do remember to eat I do not make the healthiest eating choices.

I’ve wanted to do something, and have—– but nothing has seemed to free me from this morass. I’ve crocheted, I’ve read, I’ve walked, I’ve made earrings and necklaces, I have shared concerns and feelings with my friends, and I have prayed and prayed. I have kept putting one foot in front of the other, as we say. I know I am part of the problem that shaped this political fiasco. I know I must be part of the solution.

Therefore, I have prayed about how to be part of the solution. I have been asking the God of my understanding what I need to be doing. I do not get loud and clear answers in response to my petitions. Instead, I get reminded that my role is, as always, to love because the rest is up to God.  But how am I to love in times like these? How do I love my neighbor when my very being, my beliefs, and my values have been trampled?

One answer I keep getting is almost too simple. It is as if God is saying, “Just do it.” I know the commandment is to love one another. Period. No exceptions. So I’m getting a strong direction, not to over-analyze or paralyze myself by indulging in fear and worry. It has been hammered into me for decades to pick up the pieces and just live one day at a time. There have been no promises that all those days would be easy. I do know that if I don’t want to be part of the problem I have to be part of the solution. So I am going to “keep on keeping on” and trusting God who keeps saying, “Don’t worry. I’ve got this.” I am not going to invest my energy in “what ifs”——instead, I am going to invest it in what is. And the truth is my thoughts and actions help shape my reality, and it is about time I broke out of my “funk” to start consciously participating in the solution.

Finally, last night something came through on Facebook that gave me something concrete I can do to start living in the solution. People have started wearing safety pins as a symbol of support for persons of color, women, LGBTQs, Muslims, Latinos, and anyone else that has been targeted with political bullying these past few months. Wearing this simple symbol lets those people know I am safe to talk to and that they can put their guard down when they are around me. And, since I am a woman, it is also a symbol that I value myself and others symbolically devalued in the election; it is a symbol that I will take a stand to protect our rights.

And then, this morning, I got another “answer.” Today at centering prayer, the leader said, “Breathe in, and everything changes.”  That gave me another simple focus that is helping me. Not only does my breathing in change things—–I also know what I breathe out makes a difference.  So, “goodbye, funk—–hello, breathing!”safety-pin