Today I would like to set the record a little bit straighter though. Perhaps "the record" is always shifting this way and that, never 100% true to the entirety of any person's story. I want people to know that it is not all rainbows, unicorns and fairy dust in my head. Yes, Gratitude is absolutely life changing and sometimes I am really good at it!
But over the past year an a half I have also experienced a lot of rage. Like: white-hot burning in your belly RAGE. I have felt rage over injustices, cruelty and stupidity.
The truth is that *I* was lucky, but many people were not. Yes,*my* dad got timely cancer treatment that ultimately healed him... but how many hundreds of thousands did not? Yes, *my* mom was with her father when he passed - but how many families did not have that same basic human need filled last year? How many individual's mental health suffered and declined? How many relationships were severed? How many families lost all of their support for their autistic child and were trapped in their houses, basically turning their homes - a place that is supposed to be a safe nest - into a daily living hell?
I had more than one friend tell me last year that *I* was irresponsible and dangerous for asking questions and sharing information that didn't line up with their belief system. My beliefs were compared to a person believing "drunk driving shouldn't be illegal." That's right, my beliefs are the same as saying people should just be allowed to drive around recklessly drunk and killing people willy-nilly.
I feel very loved after receiving so much beautiful feedback on what I wrote yesterday. But I don't want the moment to slip by - my main message was that millions of others suffered more and did not have the benefit of my "luck". And the large majority of those people suffered because of government overreach and lockdowns. I repeat - it was NOT a virus that caused this overwhelming suffering, it was lockdowns.
It's time to turn the tables and stand in our power. I will never agree that it is the government's place to tell us to hunker down, isolated and fearful for months on end. I look back on this year and I know that in ACTUALITY I hurt and killed NO ONE. If someone in our family was sick - we stayed home. Yes - we traveled, we visited family and friends, and we did our best to live "normally." And we were right to do so, because that is actually what is best for individual and public health. Exercise, sunshine, socializing, being with family, being PRODUCTIVE - these are human needs and rights.
But those of you who begged for the government to tell everyone how to live? You absolutely are on the side of history that killed others. You killed elderly with poor public health policy implemented by the government you begged to take over. Not only that, many died alone without their loved ones holding their hands. You killed people who were already suffering from depression and mental health issues - as lockdowns were the last push that sent them over the brink. You killed people who needed medical attention but did not receive it because they were denied or too scared to seek it. The repercussions of lockdowns are not over and will be felt for years and decades to come.
There were two things taken from me last year. Carter's treatment was the first. I can accept that fairly easily. I wasn't sure I even wanted to go down that path anyway and we're very good at meeting his needs as a family. But the second hurt. When we went to NY last summer I was denied a visit with my grandpa. He died later that year so it was my last chance to see him. That hit me hard.
Those of you still saying - well, what are you doing to do? It was a pandemic? I invite to you take a long hard look outside of your normal sources of information and open your heart and mind to asking the questions: Did lockdowns make a difference? Did mandatory mask mandates make a difference? Take this quiz and I think you may be surprised at the conclusions you come to.
Yes, I have felt rage. But I know that rage is not healthy or sustainable. So I let it flow through me and pass. And I do things that nourish my soul, like go to a spray park where Carter runs around for 2 hours while I get to sit and talk with other adults! I go on walks twice daily with my steadfast partner in life. I talk to my mom on the phone every morning and FaceTime with my sister each week. And I make plans for the future... plans to travel, to take classes, to visit family.
I am ready to move on from the rage. But that takes a perspective shift and a lot of letting go. Gratitude helps me get there. I do not plan on rehashing this much more - I know what I believe and most people are now set in their beliefs. If you are ready to move on also, I hope you'll join me.