January 10, 2021

“This is not America!”—Actually, Yes it Is.

The world is so heavy right now.

As I watch the news, read social media feeds, and hear the resonating cry, “This is not America!” I step back and think, “Yes, this is America.”

We are beautiful, caring, brave, mighty, racist, ugly, fearful, and we step on others for our own personal gain. We have shown compassion, hate, torn down cities, and worked together to rebuild them. We have lamented so many losses this year as sickness, hate, greed, and racism have reared their ugly heads. We have shared joy as we watch people in our communities come together to help one another during an unprecedented time.

Last year, I attended Oprah’s 2020 Vision tour and one thing I took away was the importance of relationships. Not having a lot of them, but making sure the ones you have make you a better person.

Think about the people in your circle. If your circle supports toxic behaviors or covers you in “grace” as you make false or harsh statements, they are not your circle. If your circle doesn’t elevate you or help you become your best self, they are not your circle.

I think of our leaders when I say this. What people are in their circles? Are their statements divisive or inclusive? Do they promote hate or healing?

I hear cries of first amendment rights being ripped away. Guess what? With rights come responsibilities. Responsibilities to be educated, to tell the truth, and to not incite violence.

In these crazy times, think about why you’re here. Why were you placed on this earth at this time? Are you here to show compassion and love, or are you here to wreak havoc? It’s easy to be cynical. It’s easy to play the victim. It’s easy to blame others for everything that isn’t right in your life. When something goes wrong, you find out what’s real.

So here we are. We can play the victim and lament over everything wrong in the world or use our powers to improve the world through our thoughts and actions. We get to choose a circle that promotes healthy behaviors and elevates us to be our best selves.

So, who’s in your circle? Who needs to be removed? What actions can you take to promote healing? Are those actions taking you forward to a more peaceful existence or are they giving you feelings of unrest and fear? If the latter, you need to choose a new path.

“Our nation has not always lived up to its ideals—yet those ideals have never ceased to guide us. They expose our flaws, and lead us to mend them. We are the beneficiaries of the work of the generations before us, and it is each generation’s responsibility to continue that work.” ~ Laura Bush

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