Stronger

You are stronger than you think you are.
Each of us.

A friend of mine moved away a couple of years ago. Unexpectedly. Quickly. She was anxious and in (what seems now to be) a misguided attempt to soothe her mind, I suggested that she write down all the things that she was afraid would happen when she and her family moved. I suggested that 3 months later when she looked a the list, that she would see that none of them had happened.

She moved away and three months later, everything on her list had happened. Every. Single. Thing.

I felt like a jerk and a bad friend.

But when I talked to her not long ago, I had this thought: all those things she was afraid of happening (and more, as it turns out), she figured out, she managed, she handled, she lived through. And now, she is stronger.

She did more than she thought she could.

– – – – – – – – – –

We are stronger together.
All of us.

Yesterday, on the anniversary of the death of Heather Heyer and the terrorist attacks in downtown Charlottesville, I went to Heather’s memorial and walked through the downtown mall. While I walked, I listened to a dharma talk by meditation teacher, Tara Brach called Evolving Beyond Unreal Othering.

It was the perfect thing. Given all that’s happened and is happening in our city, it is easy to point fingers. It is easy for me to blame and accuse and say that those people did this to us.

Instead, Tara Brach was reminding me that we really are all in this together. All of us. We are all part of the problems and the solutions. Even and especially people we don’t agree with. I hope you’ll give yourself the gift of listening to her wise words. You can find her talk here.

Charlottesville is grappling with its painful history and the reality of its present. We are (albeit slowly) facing things we don’t want to face and gathering our collective resources to move forward in a healthier way. It seems to me that the only way we can make our way through more than we thought we could, is to do it together.

How do we, as civil rights activist Ruby Sales says, “weave together the “I” with the “We” and the “We” with the “I?” That’s where the real strength lies.

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