Lovely afternoon for a nap—rain, thunder, telephone call from Jacob about using my computer (no, now now!), dog barking at the thunder. The peaceful cottage. But there I was, snug in my bed, awake, but not ready to get up. So I thought about this morning’s sermon (I promise I won’t report on the sermon every week). It was about forgiveness, and it spoke directly to me.
For much of the sermon, I listened attentively with thoughts of my ex-husband in mind, he who left me to raise four children alone because he’d “spent enough time taking care of others.” Since, as I heard this morning, forgiveness doesn’t mean approving the act or reconciliation, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of putting that anger behind me. Oh, yes, I still have flashes of it, but they’re rare. Mostly I’m grateful. Leaving turned out to be the best thing he ever did for the kids and me.
But then the minister asked us to think about who we need to forgive, and his list included “world leaders.” Bam! Even Christian said he thought of me immediately. I realized that my anger and frustration with our current government and our leaders is turning me harsh and shrill. Okay, I’ll be specific: McConnell, Ryan, 45, more recently Tom Cotton and Trey Gowdy who have surfaced again. I am appalled at the anger over the Dreamers, the people who call them alien illegals. I’m appalled that McConnell thinks he’s giving Democrats a choice between saving CHIP or the Dreamers—they are all individual souls. How do you choose?
I did not join the Women’s March yesterday. I cannot walk without a walker, and that crowd was no place for me. I can’t drive, so I haven’t gone to, for example, evenings with Beto O’Rourke when he’s in Fort Worth, though I heartily support him. I haven’t volunteered at political headquarters nor, obviously, to walk my block. I figured what I can do is make my voice heard on Facebook, and boy howdy, have I shouted! But today those two words haunt me: shrill and harsh.
I’ve tried recently not to be snarky and not to share snarky posts, though some of them are so funny and clever I can barely resist. Still, I’ve tried to stick to what seem to be well documented, factual posts with information people should know, like the fact that the Koch brothers gave Ryan $500,000 after passage of the tax bill. Or McConnell is the one who vetoed Senator McCaskill’s bill to continue military pay (done during shutdowns in Obama’s administration) and to suspend congressional pay until the shutdown is over. I think those are fair guidelines, with a nod to Snopes.
But what makes me lose my cool are tunnel-visioned Trump followers who claim Obama and Hilary should be in prison, the shutdown is all the Democrats fault, etc. That’s where I become shrill. No more. I’m practicing letting go. Facebook and forgiveness simply aren’t good bedfellows, and I know that much as I rant I convince no one. I only earn comments like, “You drank the Kool-Aid” or “You need to take your meds.”
Watch for the new, kinder, gentler me, and if I mess up, call me on it.
The minister this morning quoted Ann Lamott, her version of something I’ve heard many times and will try to live by: “Holding on to anger is like drinking rat poison and waiting for the rat to die.”