man, i’m so tired of saying, “these are weird times we’re living in,” and other various renditions of the same sentiment. also, another one that’s starting to really wear on me is, “hopefully we’ll be back to normal soon.” truthfully, yes, it is weird, it is unusual. and recently it’s gotten violent. it’s been scary. things took a HARD turn from strange into something that no one could have ever seen coming. but back to normal? what does that even mean… and why do we want it so bad? why do we always want something else? why do we need to create another reality than the one in which we currently live? we’re always searching, fixing, disagreeing… what even IS normal?!?!

one thought that i keep coming back to is that, as humans, we manifest what we focus on. and if you don’t believe that or know what i mean, think about that old thing we all say about cars… you know… you just bought a new Jeep, and all of a sudden Jeeps are everywhere you look, or whatever. the same thing is true for just about anything. if you focus on bad things, you see more bad things. and, surprise, if you focus on good things, you see more good things.

so, as things have turned from weird to scary to violent, and every shade in between, i haven’t been a part of any protest, i haven’t been screaming at police officers, i haven’t been saying how awful Corona is, and i haven’t been immersing myself in news 24/7 or keeping up with every last dramatic story the media has to offer. and most recently, when my husband and i walked the streets of Nashville just an hour or two before the protests turned to violence and riots, i was in tears when i saw all of the mess that had been created. i wanted to see it for myself, and it was worse than i could have imagined. i didn’t know that the worst was yet to come. and yet, i kept my anger, my tears, and my thoughts to myself.

some may call me passive, opinion-less, or even ignorant. some may think i’m not using my voice. maybe i’m that classic white person that’s acting in white privilege that just doesn’t understand what it’s like to have the color of my skin affect my life. maybe i’m living in the clouds and i’m annoying for not seeing just how awful Covid-19 really has been and is for our world. but i just don’t see it that way. i see it as acceptance for a plan that isn’t mine, never was, and never will be, and doing the best i can to control what i can control – myself. that’s all any of us really, truly have control over.

i’ve experienced a wide range of emotions lately with all that’s been going on. we all have. ultimately, i stand true to one thing – i am not in control. i never am, and i never was. i cannot control this world. that’s a job that’s MUCH higher than me and my pay grade – that job isn’t even available, and it never will be. my job is to love. my job is to be a good person. to find my purpose and to pursue it tirelessly and bring glory to the One that created me. i cannot give to this world in the ways i was designed to if/when i’m preoccupied with hatred – truthfully, the more we focus on hatred, the more it enters in. dark cannot live in the light, so i’m choosing to focus on the light, because i know darkness cannot live there.

what would it look like for us not to criticize and scrutinize and judge each other for Every Damn Thing that comes out of our mouths?! what would it look like for us to TRULY lead with love?? not say we love each other in one sentence and judge one another the next. to stop putting each other in this “damned if we do, damned if we don’t” situation… it’s annoying. like, really effing annoying. and the only think i know that drives out all of that darkness – judgment, scrutiny, hatred, racism, violence, etc. – is love.

since we are going to see a lot more of whatever it is that we’re focusing on, i think right now, what’s most important is love. it sounds so cliché. maybe it sounds ridiculous to some. maybe you don’t think it will help at all. it’s too simple of an answer. it doesn’t solve anything. maybe you don’t feel that there’s anything about love that takes direct action against a pandemic or a government that a lot of people don’t agree with, or violent protests, or whatever the hell is going on right now. but i’m only saying this because it’s the only thing that makes sense to me. if everyone – civilian or law, black or white, high or low class, Every One…. Every Single Person… gave more love, i think we’d be in a much better place.

we cannot go around expecting perfection from each other. we just can’t because we’re humans, and we’re not gonna get it 100% correct all the time. or ever. but what if we sought first to understand – what if we led with a helpful heart as opposed to one that’s set on proving our own points and “getting justice” and punishing and consequences. it’s not currently working. we’re focused on the wrong things.

it’s time to shift our focus. focus less on what we don’t have and more on what we do have – less on what we can’t do and more on what we can. shift our focus toward the light – toward love. focus on spreading that light all over the damn place, because darkness can’t live there.