There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. --Albert Einstein
So what does this mean, on Wednesday, November 9, 2016, the day after one of the most divided Presidential elections I've seen in my lifetime? Because I need to find the miracle in this.
Choosing love and compassion every damn day feels like a miracle to me. And when I say that, I am not just talking about compassion for the marginalized, but compassion for the ones with whom we disagree, and even the ones we fear. Because when we are talking about the marginalized, as much as the white, liberal, educated elite (which includes me, by the way) don't want to look at this, we are talking about the unemployed or underemployed, uneducated, and sometimes addicted white person that voted for the one person they thought was listening to them. My kids are watching me and they are acting how I act, doing what I do and I can't teach compassion unless I'm doing it. There is a miracle in that.
If we've hit rock bottom as a country, and many of us know a lot about rock bottoms, the only direction to go from here is up. And being in recovery, I also know that that requires change and making good choices and showing up and staying present and pushing up my sleeves to get to work. If there was ever a time to be sober and present, it is now. If there was ever a time to ask, "Where does it hurt?*", it is now. I can't ask that if I'm shackled to the throes of self-absorption and pity-parties that I was in when I was drinking. There are miracles in rock bottoms.
So what do we do now? I'm going to look for the helpers, as Mr. Rogers would say. Helping always yields miracles, without fail. I will continue to speak up for injustices, to not agree with the unagreeable, but I know I need to be a listener. Because that is what feels right. There are miracles in listening.
*This was a question asked by Ruby Sales in an interview she did with Krista Tippett on On Being a few months ago. I highly recommend listening to it, twice even, as she talks about non-violence, public theologies, finding true middle ground and really makes sense of the spiritual crises in white America (and why that white America would elect a man like Donald Trump).