Listening for Lent

Dear President Trump,

You may be aware that today is the first day of Lent, a time for reflection and taking stock so that one’s attitudes and behaviors are better lined up with Jesus’ messages and examples. The last several years I’ve worked on giving up righteous indignation for Lent but I decided that would be far too hard this year given what you and your administration have been doing. Instead I am going to work on not marshaling my arguments while someone else is still speaking. I’m going to work on giving them my full attention and hearing them out before formulating and stating my response. This is going to be really hard for me, but it feels important to give this attention and effort. If I’m going to persist every day in telling you that I think compassion and love are crucial for our democracy to be healthy and our world to be ok, then practicing nonviolent, open, and loving communication myself will help me be more consistent and authentic. Truly giving others my full, non-defensive attention and practicing listening and hearing them is not going to come easily but that’s ok because worthwhile practices rarely come easily.

It’s been really interesting writing to you every day these last few weeks. It’s forcing me to see where I am coming up short in my day-to-day dealings with others and where I am complacent and hypocritical. I’m not so happy with some of the things I find myself doing and thinking, so I am grateful for this practice of giving you feedback and sending you blessings every day since it is helping me see my own shortcomings more clearly. I hope it is helping you in some small way too, even if indirectly through whatever channels the Universe uses to connect us all with one another.

So on this first day of Lent, you continue to be the most difficult person in my life and I continue to wish you well. By the way, I am going to change up the blessing from here on out as I think that wishing for your life to unfold with peace is more important than it unfolding with ease.

May you be safe.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May your life unfold and intersect in peace.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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