Why Are We Going Backwards?

How do we remain hopeful in these unprecedented times? Personally, I am not coping well. Everyday and everywhere, there is tragedy, injustice, and horror. It seems to me that integrity, democracy, and honesty are mostly virtues of the past in this country and particularly on a certain side of the aisle of politics. This country is going backwards instead of progressively forward as a country to follow and admire.

When it feels like it’s time to write a blog, I find it impossible to ignore current times. I’ve never been one to mince words and the truth is, I’m deeply effected by all of it. Each morning, I wake up at my usual time of 6:30 but it’s been pushing more towards 7:30 in a dark veil of fatigue. I spark the flame under the teakettle for my black/green tea ritual and sit in the quiet sipping from a white porcelain cup staring at the hummingbirds and my blooming plants in vibrant pink and red. Some mornings, when it’s all feeling too, too much, I put my eye shade on and curl back up with my kitty in the fetal position. I wonder if anyone can relate?

With climate crisis worsening daily and precious wildlife suffering; democracy at risk; AND the Supreme Court Justices reversing Roe v Wade, which is a necessary health care issue while also limiting the EPA on their work to reduce fossil fuel, established gay rights at risk, and if that’s not enough, they loosened laws on guns. Really? BTW, at least three of the conservative Judges on the US Supreme Court perjured themselves when they were before a congress hearing stating that Roe v Wade is ‘rule of law’. They lied. Turned around and did the opposite. Even the Highest Court is lacking in integrity where Party goes before country and the lines between church and state are blurred. An additional BTW — Two of the judges are molesters and/or a rapist that sits in this thigh seat. One was a known black-out drunk. Tell me, what woman would ever get away with that and be pushed through as a Supreme Court Justice? And, yet, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson was raked over the coals by GOP officials with the stupidest and most insulting questions. Her reputation is stellar. She’s not a liar or a molester. Did anyone notice how these recent rules were pushed through just a couple weeks before Ketanji Brown Jackson was sworn in. Slimy, sneaky, deceit.

Power walking is a savior. I set out with the intent to release stress and a maddening frustration. I stop to smell the roses… literally. Jasmine is suddenly blooming and that would include hanging pink jasmine on my own patio.

My senses open to the sensual scent of jasmine. A glorious gardenia or a visit to the rose garden can send a sense of heaven in the midst of turmoil and we all need a sense of heaven on earth. Tuesday mornings, I walk out to the breakwater even with the power of high tide waves coming over the wall or in thick and cool fog. I like the sound of a fog horn just as I like the distant sound of a train. In it’s beautifully haunting way, I’m inspired to be transported out of troubling thoughts.

Sadly, I get the impression that lying and twisting facts has become the norm in this country. I have enormous respect for Liz Cheney. I may not agree with her conservative policies but she is putting country first even at the risk of death threats and being bashed by her party. The same has happened to Senator Kinzinger. They are being viciously attacked by not only their own GOP colleagues and party, but right wing whack jobs. Cheney and Kinzinger understand that they took an oath to protect the country from domestic and foreign terrorism, and safeguard democracy at all costs. Those on the Jan 6 committee subjected to attacks, know that they are not heroes but that they are doing their jobs. Justice and standing up for what’s right is a given for some.

It’s all so distressing, infuriating, and damn discouraging. Thank God for the Jan 6 committee. At least it appears that some will be held accountable. Trump is NOT above the law and he’s a traitor putting hundreds in danger. Get the handcuffs and lock the key for life. He was impeached twice and for good reason. If the GOP sycophants had found him guilty of treason or inciting an insurrection, they would’ve saved themselves a lot of trouble. Unfortunately, we who are sane have had to put up with this crap for six years. I’m sick to death of it.

Are many of Americans desensitized by the continuous mass shootings? I am not. It is deeply disturbing and heartbreaking. I’ve been voting for those that will do something about it, signing campaigns and whatever else I can think of. GOP blocks legislation against assault weapons every time even in the interest of protecting children! Pro-life but not pro-child. Other countries have gotten the assault weapons off the streets. Not US.

Meanwhile, due to all our craziness, the news in Ukraine has been put on the back burner.

I feel so deeply for those people who are fighting and being killed for their freedom and democracy, the democracy this country is always meant to stand for instead any kind of support toward autocracy.

What do I end with? I go to bed with Stephen Colbert nightly. I listen to his monologue, which provides a smart and witty take to the news. Listening to Colbert in all his brilliance, I feel as though all my concerns, grievances, and distresses are heard. Then I turn to animal videos… the ones where animals are saved or the amusing ones. I power down the phone and unplug the internet. I close my eyes but there are times when anxiety likes to visit. I envision floating in a warm, turquoise ocean, repeat the mantra I was given decades ago when I learned transcendental meditation (only using the mantra). -

The Caribbean of Mexico

And if all that doesn’t work, I add pranayama by specifically practicing nadi shodhana and continue my float in the sea.

Keep on swimming through life,

Valerie Anne

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Valerie Anne Burns

Author, “Caution: Mermaid Crossing, Voyages of a Motherless Daughter”; Style Consultant; Film Biz Survivor; Breast Cancer Survivor; Speaker; and Beauty Seeker.