Edie and I have both been wallowing in the news and social media cesspool lately. We are up to our eyeballs in it. It’s all we talk about.
We had yet another talk in the kitchen this morning about the importance of bringing our best selves out into this angry, terrified, RESIST world.
We know how important it is to ask ourselves every time we open our mouths: Is this the right time to speak? Is this true? Does this speech act promote harmony? Does it bring people together? Is it kind?
But even though we both know that being our best selves out in the world is critical, we both also know that these “best selves” of ours are highly curated and edited constructs. They are our sanded, stained and polished personae. No rough edges. No splinters.
Our raw, splintery, unedited selves, –those we only show to each other. In the privacy of our home. Behind closed doors.
And we need this cathartic primal screaming; we need to yell the vulgar words, vent our outrage at what certain people we know do, and think, and say. After extremely long days of pausing, and listening, and trying to understand, of trying to be patient, and role-model empathy, we are DONE with you idiots.
So we scream and rage to each other about you. It’s how we stay sane. It’s how we manage to show up sanely another day. It’s how we can keep our tongues civil.
But even though we need to vent that raw primal rage, it makes for a rather unpleasant home life. It doesn’t make either of us happy. Relieved, yes. Heard, yes. But not happy.
So the question in the kitchen this morning was this: How can we allow ourselves to vent, to beat the pillows and scream, but also make some space for genuine, primal happiness with each other? At least for a small segment of each day?
We both have our daily meditation practices, and that certainly helps. A lot. But I think we need something to do as a couple.
I think we need some daily ritual. A time where we set aside our world stress and look at the things we’ve collected throughout the day that gave us primal joy.
Something along the lines of a kid emptying his pockets after a long, hard day of playing outside: a smooth rock, a marble, a bird feather, a piece of gum, a dime.
A car let us in to the line of traffic. A person held the door. The barista made us laugh. A hug from a person we hadn’t seen in a while. An oak tree frosted with snow. The cardinal at the feeder. Sun through the clouds for that brief moment, and we noticed it.
Maybe we need to start collecting this stuff throughout the day, noting it down on little scraps of paper, or taking a photo of it with our phone, or talking a moment into a voice memo. Just so we don’t forget.
Then, before bed, saying to each other: “Okay, time to empty our pockets, darling! Let’s see what you got. Let’s see what joys you found today.”
And, of course, the one with the most joys, wins.