I’ve missed you. I’ve missed writing this column. I’ve missed connecting with our community of conscious, caring parents and professionals. It’s good to be back.
You may recall, this time last year we were so full of hope and pride – sending our three oldest children off to college at Penn State University, where my wife works full-time and I teach part-time. I was excited about starting a new series of Kidstep Coaching Programs focused on reducing daily stress for harried families. Life was rolling along here in Happy Valley, as in most places, buzzing with busyness.
Then the earthquake hit. In November we received the shocking news of a child sexual abuse scandal here that rocked the nation and tore at the soul of our community. A whole new level of stress was upon us, and I wrote a post immediately from the heart here that I shared with all of you.
I haven’t written since. Just couldn’t do it. Just seemed pointless at times, or trivial. Or I had too much anger inside me, or too much despair. It wasn’t the time to share. At least not for me, in this way.
It was a time for turning inward.
I’ve focused more of my profesissional work on helping our local children and families overcome their daily struggles amidst the chaos and confusion of this community nightmare – one that the media age amplifies infinitely. Our clients – as well as our staff, colleagues, friends, and neighbors – are all seeking peace and dignity in their quiet, little lives, against the blaring background noise of the nation’s obsession with the “blame and shame game.” I’ve just tried to take care of business at home for a while, literally.
Meanwhile, I’ve appreciated the love of family ever more. My greatest joy is the laughter that inevitably erupts whenever our kids are all home, eating and talking and playing together – a time when our 10-year-old daughter revels in having her big brother and sisters home again. Sometimes I can’t wipe the smile off my face, or I have to wipe a tear off my cheek, just because I’m so damned grateful for these times.
We have our problems, too, of course, and need to continuously tend to weeding the garden of life.
Personally, I’ve grown my weekly yoga and meditation practice into a daily practice that calms my spirit, focuses my mind, and helps heal my heart. I’ve worked to heal old wounds, letting go of old stories and habits that no longer serve me or those I love. I’ve found greater peace and comfort in accepting the present moment – and whoever may be sharing it with me – as being just fine, as is.
My compassion for those who experience the pain of loss or doubt or fear continues to grow in my heart. And with that growth has come another interesting thing.
Healing. My heart, our community’s heart, is mending. And with the grace of forgiveness – forgiveness for being imperfect human beings – comes a growing energy for reaching out and reconnecting. From forgiving to for-giving. It’s time. Penn State starts a new chapter this weekend. We’re all starting a new school year. And I’m ready to share my voice again.
I pray it will serve you and your children well. I also hope to hear your voice, your truth, your challenges, your joys, as we continue on the journey of raising our children in this crazy ever-loving world.
Practical tips, posts, and programs will return next week. For now, this Labor Day weekend, may you safely enjoy the blessings of family and friends!