Studying uncertainty

Dear President Trump,

I’m not sure how long I’ll keep this up, but I asked myself (the Universe, God, etc.) again about what is keeping me from being consistently in harmonious balance, sensing it isn’t enough to stop with yesterday’s idea that my well-being is independent of everything going on. I do think there is some merit to not being buffeted about by other people and circumstances all the time, but as stated, it ignores interdependence and how none of us are flying solo. What led me to remember this tricky twist is having felt like all the air around me was sucked away this morning when I visualized opening the WP last night and being confronted by eight different horrible things you all did just yesterday, from formally endorsing Moore to handing off huge tracts of public land in Utah for mining and development. It seemed the epitome of smug, upper-middle class white privilege to try and wall myself off from everything and just focus on my breath, on my own balanced harmony. In the next set of thoughts I remembered how easy it can be in the face of unfathomably bad things to stay extremely upset and enraged as a way to stay clear on exactly how very bad that bad is or was. I’ve seen Veterans get stuck in this place where being ok feels like a betrayal of the traumas they endured. Likewise, in the current political climate it is tempting to keep stoking righteous fury.

At this point, here’s what I’ve got: 1) a sense of balance and harmony seems like a good idea; 2) there have been, are currently, and will almost certainly always be awful, soul-crushing losses, injustices, and wrongs happening all the time that can’t be ignored; 3) there have been, are currently, and will almost certainly always be amazing gifts and self-less, generous acts by people and nature happening all the time that shouldn’t be ignored; 4) we are all of us inescapably interconnected; 5) where and how we train our attention matters; 6) keeping up a sense of outrage feels validating but is a recipe for staying stuck, and 7) how to be truly healthy in the context of 1 through 6 remains unclear to me.

May we be safe even as we are uncertain how to be.
May we be happy to study uncertainty like it’s an interesting stone we picked up from the beach.
May we be healthy enough not to be too certain when we think we have the answer.
May we remember to breathe.

Tracy Simpson

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