Reflections

When You Can’t Celebrate

The Love Bungalow is supposed to be lighthearted. It’s supposed to celebrate life by highlighting good things like cooking, marriage, and creativity and providing a respite from all the craziness the world throws at us.

But, sometimes, the craziness comes in anyway.

And lately, I haven’t been feeling like celebrating or trying new recipes or hosting parties.

I’ve been sad.

Sad because of injustice. Sad because of violence. Sad because of political upheaval. Sad because my friends and I are finding each other on opposite sides of arguments. Sad because people I know are hurting other people. Sad because I realize how many people I disagree with. Sad because I don’t know how to make things better. Sad because I don’t see things getting any better. Sad because I see lines being drawn in the sand and I’m giving up the desire to cross them. Sad because I don’t have the answers. Sad because I wonder if I am part of the problem.

We sang so many songs in church today about God being good. But I don’t think he seems very good to the families of Alton Sterling,Β Philando Castile, Lorne Ahrens, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa,Β Montrell Jackson, Matthew Gerald, Brad Garafola, and so many others right now. I can only imagine what my response would be if I was personally affected by one of these tragedies, but I assume I would have some pretty strong words and doubts for God if I even wanted to speak with him at all.

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Photo by Milada Vigerova, Creative Commons

I’ve been feeling powerless. Like nothing I can do will make a difference. Yes, I can write letters and volunteer, but at the end of the day, I’m still a privileged white person with so little knowledge about the thousands of injustices that occur across the world every single day. I tell myself that my years studying and practicing mental health will someday make a difference, but that doesn’t seem true as I just sit on my couch and study while people are being shot.

I know I’m not alone in my sadness and I’m hopeful that our grief and mourning will bring us together, as friends, as bloggers, as Hoosiers, and as humanity. I want to respond. I want to take a stand. I want the violence to end. But I don’t know how to do that yet. So, while I’m praying for wisdom for my role in God’s plan of bringing about peace and restoration to the world, this is what I’m doing now:

  1. I pray alot. Even if my prayers don’t make sense. Even if my prayers are just questions. Even if my prayers are just tears.
  2. I acknowledge my feelings. It’s OK to be sad.
  3. I check myself. Am I speaking truth or just my perspective? Will these words bring hope or hate? Will I be inclusive or divisive?
  4. I practice small acts of peace. I go to yoga. I tell Husband that I love him. I buy Starbucks for the person behind me in line.
  5. I choose hope. I believe humanity can do better. I believe I have a role to play in making that happen. I believe the transformational power of love can heal and bring about incredible change.

I would love to know what you’re doing during these difficult times. Maybe we can do something together. Peace to you and all who are suffering.

Lindsay Sig

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16 comments on “When You Can’t Celebrate

  1. I almost dread looking at the news these days, whether it is the political situation in the UK, what happened in Nice or Turkey and the inhumanity that happens every day. But there is so much good out there too, whether it is celebrating the return of a bird that was on the verge of extinction (as has happened where I live), the kindness and generosity of so many people volunteering to help those less fortunate and just the beauty of nature around us. We just have to try to focus on the positive and as you so beautifully put it, practice small acts of peace, in the hope that they spread.

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  2. I echo your words and your feeling during this time of injustice. I find myself practicing a LOT of small acts of peace (planting/clipping flowers for my neighbor, letting the guy with two items go before my cart of groceries etc) of letting others know were in this together. With the hope it will blossom into number your number five!

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  3. I know what you mean. Lately it’s been very bad anywhere you look. One tragedy after another. I remember one day being at home studying for a test and then hearing and watching the videos of the violence and injustice happening, and feeling so useless for just being at home comfortably studying. the world is so much bigger and I wish I could help. It’s not a good feeling. I wish I could also give you suggestions, but I’m honestly doing the same things as you /:
    Thank you for including this in your blog. Life isn’t always perfect and I like it when people speak about those things.

    Much love!

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  4. Idontwearahat.

    The world truly terrifies me these days and it reminds you how little you are aware of. Still trying to find an effective way to remedy it.

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  5. I completely understand you Lindsey. Some times I feel the same way too. It’s really hard to accept that people can hurt people so much but wasn’t that always the case with humanity? Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the situations around me and I end up feeling angry with the world. I thought studying social sciences would help me understand this situation and find a way to make a difference but reality always strikes back. Truth is we can’t change the world but we can change ourselves. Have faith, keep doing what you do, and be the change you wish for πŸ˜‰

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  6. It is a VERY sad time–just don’t attribute the wickedness to a holy and loving God, Who gave all He could. He sent His perfect and holy Son to die for us (all); sadly, not all will accept Him, His healing, His reconciliation and holiness. I’m not spouting platitudes. I know what it is to suffer (by North American standards, not Yazidi or Coptic christian standards) and I’m not blowing my own horn–without the grace and love of my Christ, I would have been dead long ago; I’m just trying to say that He is good, ALWAYS good, even when terrible things happen. His followers have an opportunity to bring peace, love and joy to even the most tragic of circumstances. But to do that they need to TRULY know Him and the power of His sufferings and resurrection –which is absolute foolishness to those who do not know Him.

    My firstborn child was stillborn–it was a terrible, terrible time and yet there was joy in it because we knew we would be seeing him again when we all “go Home”, but more importantly, because of how my husband and I were able to trust the Lord in that time, my in-laws came to know Christ as well. Additionally, many other women were able to mourn the loss of their own children who’d been miscarried or stillborn in a time when people never really recognized the need to grieve as we shared our loss with others in our congregation and social sphere. When God says that “He causes ALL things to work together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes”, He makes good on that promise as we trust Him. Grieve, but not as those who have no hope.

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    • Wow, thank you for sharing such a personal reflection. I really appreciate you reaching out and sharing your story. Great encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re very welcome; sorry it’s taken me so long to respond–I just saw your reply. I don’t get out of the FB & Twitter-verse much these days. That’s another story of God doing good things with crummy circumstances. Anyway, when we praise Him for His goodness and greatness He makes a way for us through the difficult times. He is the Way-Maker and I’d be totally lost without Him.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I find a kind of hope in the fact that so many of us, young and old, are feeling the same way. It’s like a Ray Bradbury story, somehow. My hope is that we’re on the cusp of a cultural evolution, something collective …

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  8. You’re doing the best that you can do.Thank you for stopping at my blog

    Liked by 1 person

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