I woke up early this morning; the news of last night weighing heavily on my tired body. The hardest part about being a parent is that the world is not the way it used to be. You have changed it for me. I see things differently now because you are here. And so, I sat this morning, watching the news stream live on our television as your dad came downstairs to join me. It was only 6 am and the world outside was still cavernous and dark. We sat across the room from one another, just staring at the screen, the warm coffee a small comfort in our hands. Admittedly the pits of our stomachs did not feel well. The world did not feel well this morning. Turning to me, your dad said, “I hope that one day, I can say to the other half of America that they were right, that they were right all along.” He wasn’t being sarcastic or nasty, he was being completely sincere. In this moment, with this small phrase, a light came to my morning.
I cannot change the happenings of last night, but I can change my outlook. And I can change it today. Not tomorrow or next week, but today.
June Bea, when things don’t go the way you want, when the world seems cloudy and unattached, when you’re looking at a thousand seemingly impossible puzzle pieces spread across the floor, you must have hope. Somedays hope is easier to find than others. Somedays, you might not be able to find it all. But it is there, I promise. You cannot live a happy life by focusing on negativity and despair, this much I know.
You do not have to agree with the world, but when the smoke settles you must find a way to coexist with happenings happily.
Bitterness rots the soul and steals time you cannot get back. A wolf spends his time chasing the rabbit just as the rabbit spends his time running from the wolf, but because they both depend on the same land, they must find a way to live in harmony. And so, together, the wolf and the rabbit have learned when to pillage and when to sacrifice. It is not an easy decision, but it happens. In whatever comes your way, find a way to flow that brings greater good to the people and the world around you.
In the mornings, we often listen to the Carters, letting the music spread over us into a dance. You raise your arms, spinning around the kitchen as I sing along, “keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side, keep on the sunny side of life.” As you grow, June Bea, I hope you harbor these memories. They are not accidental. In these small moments, there is great intent in my parenting. I play music with messages of strength and hope with the intention that they will become your mantras. I want your mind to be filled with strength and peace. Gandhi said, be the change you wish to see in the world. And so, when the world seems like it’s gone mad, just remember, the only thing that breaks through darkness is light. Be the light you wish to see in the world, sweet girl.
Never be afraid to set the standard of happiness by spreading the happiness within you.
If you choose happiness at the beginning of each day, your life will look different than others. Be joyful and uplifting. And when you find the hope within you, share it through your words and your actions.
Today the world looks like a thousand impossible puzzle pieces spread across my floor, but I will choose hope. I will not feast on the negativity around me, letting insult and hatred find a home in my stomach. Instead, I will work hard today to rise above it all. I am a strong, proud woman that no man can tear down with words or action. We are all in this together. Let’s be a light in the darkness. Let’s find hope in the seemingly impossible.