Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Keep Going

OK.  It's Tuesday morning.  Here I sit, having slept until 8 am, exhausted from keeping grandchildren for a couple of days on my own and from abruptly ending the 50 mg of Prednisone I take after each Thermoplasty procedure on my lungs.  I've noticed depressed thoughts, threatening anxiety.  I'm crying more easily than usual. 

But that's all OK--I'm still adjusting to no longer working, and I've yet to find truly meaningful ways to spend my time.  Told David last night that the ground beneath me is shaky; every time I put my foot down, the rug is pulled out from under me (to mix my metaphors).  I keep wanting to grasp and control, but I know that's a response from my false ego.  Before me lies a huge opportunity for spiritual growth: Learning to be.  It will come.

Not sure how easily I could've written that paragraph without having read a couple of chapters of "What Happened" by Hillary Clinton.  I feel inspired by my reading this morning.  I'm dealing with a big change in my circumstances, but Clinton's experience, of course, dwarfs my own.  Plus, she had to adjust to having let down so many people.  The only one who's deeply affected by my changing circumstance is David, and I'm SO blessed with a husband who is totally supportive and trusting.

Notes from the book so far:

  • I thought she'd written that Bush said "That was some weird shit" to her directly (talking about 45's inauguration speech), but no.  She just wrote that he "reportedly" said that.  
  • "We can't understand what happened in 2016 without confronting the audacious information warfare waged from the Kremlin, the unprecedented intervention in our election by the FBI director, a political press that told voters that my emails were the most important story, and deep currents of anger and resentment flowing through our culture."
  • "I surrounded myself with friends and caught up on some of the shows that people have been telling me about for years, as well as a lot of HGTV."  HA!  That made me LOL.
  • "I've always felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net.  Now I'm letting my guard down."  
  • 65,844,610 votes for Hillary.  62,979,879 for 45.   [That's 48.2% to his 46.1%]  
  • "That which does not kill us makes us stronger."--Nietzsche (and Kelly Clarkson)
  • "When we talked [she and George W], he suggested we find time to get burgers together.  I think that's Texan for "I feel your pain."  
  • "I remember when Bill lost his reelection as Governor of Arkansas in 1980.  He was so distraught that I had to go to the hotel...to speak to his supporters on his behalf.  For a good while afterward, he was so depressed that he practically couldn't get off the floor.  That's not me. I keep going."  Wonder whether it was OK with Bill that she write that...? 
  • She spent time cleaning out the closets!  (Me, too!)
  • Watching her 2-year-old granddaughter's dance recital!  "Some are intensely focused, some are trying to talk to their parents in the audience, and one girl just sat down and took off her shoes in the middle of everything.  Lovely mayhem."  Then she wrote about the cost she would've paid if she'd been elected -- "missed a lot of dance recitals, bedtime stories, and trips to the playground. Now I had those back. That's more than a silver lining.  That's the mother lode."
  • And she wrote a couple of pages about Henri Nouwen's Prodigal Son.   How amazing.  She quotes him: "I can choose to be grateful even when my emotions and feelings are still steeped in hurt and resentment. I can choose to speak about goodness and beauty even when my inner eye still looks for someone to accuse or something to call ugly.  I can choose to listen to the voices that forgive and to look at the faces that smile even while I still hear words of revenge and see grimaces of hatred." 
She writes that she wants to be "grateful for the hard things, even for our flaws, because in the end they make us stronger by giving us a chance to reach beyond our grasp.  My task was to be grateful for the humbling experience of losing the presidential election."
If she can be grateful for something so extraordinary, how can I not cultivate such an attitude as well? 

All Shall Be Well
All Shall Be Well
And All Manner of Thing Shall be Well



Notes:
Beautiful quotes she mentions:
Harriet Tubman:  If you are tired, keep going.  If you are scared, keep going.  If you are hungry, keep going.  If you want to taste freedom, keep going.
Rainer Maria Rilke:  Just keep going.  No feeling is final.
Maya Angelou:  You may write me down in history, with your bitter, twisted lies.  You may trod me in the very dirt, But still, like dust, I'll rise . . . You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I'll rise.

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