On Being Horrified

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I wrote a short Facebook post last week about being horrified at where we are and how we got here as a country. My partner told me I was a fool for posting anything vulnerable on Facebook. Given the result, I can’t say he is incorrect in his assertion. It won’t stop me from trying again, though. In that post, I referenced my father, someone with whom I am politically not in sync and also someone whom I love and respect. It resulted in a family member of mine (not my father) acting out in unexpected anger.

I have been reflecting on the post and the result for the past 48 hours. For me, the BiCurean approach is curiosity, compassion, and grace. Can I stand in the face of my own flaws and not blame others for my fears and insecurities? Can I acknowledge where I am ignorant? blaming? unkind? Will I take responsibility for my actions and words? Can I bear the pain of losing face to stand for the world I want to live in? Some days, yes. Other days, no. When I am in a “not there” day, will I acknowledge I am not living up to my own standards and recommit myself? Yes.

I truly am horrified by the polarization and division in our country. It is astonishing to me that a poorly worded statement on a social media platform could prompt a person I love and care for, a person that I know loves and cares for me, to be so inflamed and angry. It highlights for me how deeply into this story of us versus them we have allowed ourselves to sink.

The same day that my family member (not my father, someone else) was messaging me with anger, a friend of mine from college was reaching out. As a young, faithful Mormon I went to Brigham Young University. This friend is still very committed to the Mormon faith and also committed to our friendship. He and I were talking about how much we appreciate one another. We both believe we can work together, despite this current morass and our different views, to create communities in which we all would feel welcome. More than that even, we both believe it is the better path.

And so I am also emboldened to have hope. I am committed to a world in which our relationships can survive misunderstandings as well as real differences. I am committed to a world in which accountability for our actions and our harm to others is part of how we orient ourselves to where we want to go. I am committed to being the change I want to see in the world, even when I fall short.