I know you don’t want to talk about or read about the pandemic anymore. Me too.
There are too many memories of separation, loss, uncertainty, and anxiety for me to relive.
We were too afraid to get together, lest we get sick. And, in the beginning, we didn’t understand how the disease was passed from one person to another, but what we did know was that people were dying. So we stayed isolated.
And, I think we’re carrying the pains of that season into the one we’re in.
We think that isolation, separation, and a “do it yourself” attitude are what we need for survival.
And yet, there is something many of us learned during the pandemic that is the answer to how we can better approach life & the pursuit of good trouble.
It’s the secret that’s easy to forget, but that is a sweet balm for our weary hearts.
And that is why, in the face of injustice, our collective strength is what creates change and sustains us when we become weary.
Our strength is found when we don’t rely only on elected officials to do their jobs, though we love it when they do, but rather when we band together with other parents to attend a school board meeting or address discrimination we’re seeing on our kids’ elite sports team. It’s a boost of bravery when we know we’re not alone in our desire to stay engaged and attentive to the world around us.
Our strength comes when we do the internal work to examine our own biases. When we examine our own comforts, er, privileges, to assess how much we cling to those even at the expense of others. It comes when we apologize & work to make right our shortcomings with hearts of humility. And it is in the give & take of grace that we extend it to ourselves and those around us.
In the end, the power of isolation, of hiding our stories—the growth and the pain—keeps us from gaining the momentum we need.
What we need to tap into is each other.
To reach over and do the work together. To stop being fearful of saying, “Hey, I just want to let you know that guns aren’t allowed in our home” when you invite friends for playdates. In doing this, we destigmatize our fear of being “those” parents and show ourselves to be the exact kind of parents that take the safety of other children seriously.
Guess what happens? We open the door for our friends, family, and neighbors to join us in the work: together.
Ya’ll, we’re going to get burned out, if we aren’t already, if we keep maintaining this work alone. We have to learn to be vulnerable, to be authentic, and to take the first step.
But, before we can talk about banned books, homeowner association policies, or things we heard from the pulpit that made us cringe, we need to show up for one another in everyday moments.
When our 9yo has a tantrum as we pull up to the school drop off line.
When we get into an argument with a friend from high school on Facebook.
Or when we’re shopping for endless school supplies and end up arguing with our 5yo over another set of crayons.
Showing up for those moments can be hard when we have a billion things to attend to.
We don’t always have time for a sit down conversation because we’re shouting out of our minivan windows as we pass one another in the school drop off line. Or when we’ve missed book club for 3 consecutive years juggling new babies, bedtimes, and toddlers who insist that you’re the only one who can put them to bed.
So how do we show up for one another?
We start small and send a text message- a simple, short message to acknowledge one another.
Yes, we would much rather get together, sit face to face or take a walk at the nature preserve. But the reality is, our schedules keep us too busy, and meeting likely means scheduling something three weeks from now.
But, we want to show up now. In this moment when we see one another challenged by parenting, working, and the weight of the world. Not three weeks from now, when our sentiments, though appreciated, are… late.
Now. Let’s show up for one another with hearts for connection now so that when the day comes and we need to approach our pastor, we have someone on our side.
Feeling like you don’t have the brain space to find the right words to say? Been there.
Borrow our sentiments and send one of our 8 “I see you” encouragement digital notes to help you be the friend you want to be.
In your corner, Elicia