Today the world feels heavy. Whether it is COVID-19 or coming face to face with racism or leaders responding in ways we’d prefer them not to. There are many challenges global events happening now. Perhaps we remember our own biases, failures. This may be compounded by personal events for some of us – family members needing to be hospitalised for non-COVID reasons, missed graduations, and so on.
Life can feel bleak.
And yet, I remember the idea of confirmation bias. Of how an optimist and a pessimist are looking at the same glass arriving at different conclusions. I’m reminded of how, when my depression over takes me, I often fixate on the negative. And how this fixation crowds out the positive. My fixation doesn’t change the reality of the positive being present, it highlights what I choose to see.
And so today, in the bleakness of this moment in time, I am reminding myself of other stories. Stories of streets full of bags of food for families in looted communities. Of Sheriffs joining protesters in their march and police officers taking the knee all over the US. Stories of old friends, who are pastors of ultra conservative churches, saying enough is enough and calling out for justice and change. And stories of other much more prominent, public leaders setting rules for lockdown and holding themselves to them at great personal cost. Of leaders communicating well and remembering children are listening to them as well. And stories of families using creativity to keep on loving each other with hugs and visits.
These stories are just as real as the other ones. Today I needed this reminder. The stories we tell ourselves shape who we are and how we show up.