My children come home from school and tell me about the kids in their classes. Sometimes they are appalled at their actions. Shocked at the things they say and the experiences they share. Confused by the way they treat others or the language they use.
Sometimes they tell me things that hurt my ears and my heart.
I don't want their friends telling them about their creepy uncle that's in jail because he likes to touch little girls. I don't want them to hear about the older sister that was murdered by her boyfriend. I don't want them to hear the bad words, or summaries of horror movies watched. I don't want them to be pressured into playing possessed doll or murder games at recess.
I don't want their ears and their hearts to hurt.
I could tell them to avoid those kids. To not be friends with them. To not talk to them. To turn away.
Sometimes I want to.
I want to protect those little ears and hearts, I want to protect their peace.
But I know that's not right.
I want my kids to be better than that. I want their peace to come from a deeper source than ignorance.
So we talk. We sit and discuss what they saw or heard.
We think of what appropriate actions are necessary, if any. We morn for the kids that have experienced horrors. That intimately know awful things happen. We talk about those awful things and answer the critical questions hearing about them creates.
We practice benefit of the doubt. We question the rumors. We practice grace. We think about how they may be treated at home, we imagine being in their shoes. We wonder if they are happy, if they are hungry, if they are loved. We talk about disorders and differences and acknowledge our own.
We pray for them. And then we make a plan.
We decide to be kind. We muster up our patience, or understanding, our love, and our courage.
I teach them that they don't have to play with people that make them uncomfortable. We set good boundaries and role play scenarios so we know how to stand up and protect ourselves, and others. We learn that we can walk away from situations or stories or games. We learn we can do this with love and kindness.
We choose to be good examples not by being BETTER THAN but by trying to be BETTER.
I have friends that say and do things that appall me. I have friends that share experiences that shock me. I get confused by some of my friends beliefs.
Sometimes I want to turn away. I want to protect my peace. Sometimes the things they say hurts my heart.
I don't want to hear my friends tell me that if I vote a certain way I am a garbage human, or selfish, or a liar. I don't want to hear my friends tell me I'm not a true Christian if... or that if I vote for so and so they are sickened by me. If I vote for candidate _____ I'm voting for human sacrifice or murder or rape etc. etc. etc.
I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT. I DON'T WANT MY HEART TO HURT. I want to turn away.
But I know that's not right.
So I listen. I give them the benefit of the doubt. I practice grace. I think of all the good they are, all the good they do. I ask the hard questions. I listen to their views and beliefs.
I pray for them. I muster up my patience, my understanding, my love. I decide to be kind.
I recognize they are doing what they feel is right. I imagine their lives, their experiences, I try to place myself in their shoes.
And 90% of the time I realize our goals and hopes are the same.
Even if our choice of path to get there is different.
I want a deeper peace than the peace ignorance brings.
So, to my Facebook friends that keep asking me to leave: I'm not going anywhere.
I won't always vote the same as you, but I will value your vote.
I won't always agree with you, but I will be kind.
I won't always like what you say, but I will listen.
I won't even always like you, but I will still be your friend.
And even if you call me a garbage human, even if you think I'm selfish, even if you put me in a political stereotype, I will be at peace.
I will have deeper peace not because I'm trying to be BETTER THAN YOU, but because I'm trying to be BETTER.
Namaste my Facebook friend.
Hi! I'm Amy
I am a Christian wife and mother, a writer, and a recovering perfectionist who is tired of chasing happiness in all the wrong ways. I am now on a journey to find a deeper state of being. Join me on My Peace Project and we'll learn how to survive the chaos together!