What a year it has been. Between covid and quarantine, debates and elections, Black Lives and Blue Lives Matter, Defending and Defunding the Police, we have witnessed a lot of hurt, shock and rage. I think one of the things that bothers me most about this year hasn't been the hardships but the conflict. Our relationships with coworkers, friends and family are now jeopardized by where we stand on these issues. Enough, we are told, is enough. In doing so, we have made one another our mutual enemies.
I have little to no control over politics, presidents or opinions but I do have control over myself. I may not be able to make the world into the kind of place I think it should be but I can be kind to other people. In so doing I can sow peace where there has been strife.
I can assume that people who voted for Trump are not deplorables but people who want a better future for this country. I can assume that people who voted for Biden want the same and both are to be commended for their passion, not derided for their politics.
I can assume that just because someone says "all lives matter" doesn't mean that they are minimizing anyone else's struggle and I can also assume that people who say"Black lives matter" don't mean that only blakc lives matter.
My training and experience as a psychotherapist has taught me to have "unconditional positive regard;" that people are generally doing the best they can with what they have in any given moment. Jesus taught something similar thousands of years ago, he called it "grace."
I will listen before I speak, practice acceptance before I criticize and refrain from assuming the worst about people. I will communicate in word and deed that people matter to me more than ideas. That is how I want to be treated. That is how I can begin to change the world. That is how we can have peace with one another in the face of an unpeaceful world. Grace and peace to you this coming year.
I was introduced to Thomas through a mutual connection. Thomas has his own podcast about trauma, youth, growing up and incarceration. He was kind enough to have me on his show last week. Here is the link to the episode:
Thanks again Thomas for having me on!
I help people who struggle with drinking or using drugs find a life worth living. Helping people thrive in Milford, Franklin, Medway, Uxbridge, Bellingham, Mendon, Whitinsville and surrounding towns.