Cat Got Your Tongue?

I feel as if I should say something. This is a platform for communication right? Still, I find myself twisted into knots.

The voices that are speaking in the world seem to be doing so quite loudly, assertively, aggressively. Why would I add to the noise unless I had something novel to add? Something meaningful? Something unique?

And even if I did have some pearl of insight to share, is there even a receptive dialogue available? It seems as if mankind is bludgeoning one another with our opinions, yelling louder and louder, yet who is listening?

The truth is, I am listening. I have not made up my mind, the jury is still out and conducting deliberations. In fact, I’m still soliciting input. I read and I listen until I can’t handle anymore input, my head aching and my soul heavy. Then I turn off the news and social media until the nausea in my stomach fades.

I count my blessings for being able to lose myself in my kids. The sheer labor of being mom full time means that I simply don’t have the option of going down the rabbit hole. You’ll find me cooking and cleaning and reading books and exploring nature and resolving disputes and kissing skinned knees and playing horsey and cuddling and cleaning and cleaning and cleaning…. And then I’m exhausted and the day is done, all to be repeated tomorrow. And I’m thankful for it.

The distance from the news allows me to process subconsciously. It allows me to check in with my gut. Where am I?

I know that fighting this pandemic isn’t simple. There’s a battle between protecting our physical health and our lives and our mental health… and our lives. The stakes are high.

I also believe that there is room to celebrate both the ways that we are similar and the unique ways in which we are different. I believe that racism is a monumental problem but I also believe that the problems that got us to where we are are more diverse than only racism.

We are dealing with comprehensive problems that require comprehensive solutions. To truly understand these I think we need to be willing to be uncomfortable with saying, “I haven’t made up my mind and want to learn more.” I think we should resist snap decision-making about what we support and where we stand simply because we crave the efficiency of labeling and packaging concepts into bite-sized morsels that we can easily make sense of and digest… and move on from. Making up our minds means we stop soliciting the type of input that could change our minds.

Lately I am enjoying a quote and, for the life of me, I can’t recall where I picked it up: “Growth rarely happens when you’re comfortable.” Let’s be uncomfortable and not make up our minds so that we can continue to learn and maybe even collaborate. And, when the day comes when you or I have a pretty good idea, let’s still remain open to learning more.

I want to talk to others with a spectrum of opinions so I can understand why we may disagree. It reminds me of a class I took in high school which had the requirement of beginning your statements of rebuttal with “I respectfully disagree.” Let’s try a little respect, I believe that when you get to know someone, there are truly very few bad people. I think the worst thing is assuming you know someone, especially based off of a headline, rather than allowing them to speak for themselves. There is room for listening and learning before respectfully disagreeing.

I think a cat does have my tongue because my ears and my mind and especially my heart are doing more meaningful work than my voice. When that day comes when I do use my voice, when I do take a stand, I want to have the conviction of an educated position and the humility to listen to those who disagree.

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