And all shall be well

Everything is going to be alright.

Really.

I am always secretly a little paranoid about my notebooks. I am that person. The one who dumps her unfiltered thoughts and opinions into notebooks and journals. Really, it’s better that way. If I didn’t purge some of the excess mental cogitation somewhere, it might end up bursting out of me in a really unfortunate moment of poor judgment.

Case in point: I was in a meeting recently where someone posted a scathing (and thinly-veiled) Facebook critique of another attendee, forgetting that Facebook has foreshortened the law of six degrees of separation by several degrees (to roughly five minutes). This lead to a painfully awkward moment when the offended person read the status aloud to the entire room, and pointed out that “While I’m not in your network, lots of people are in both your network and mine. One of them felt like passing it along.”

Yeah. Awkward.

But even if one of my journals ended up in the wrong hands, it’d be okay. Far worse things have happened. Everything ends up alright, eventually.

Alright is a highly subjective state, though.

I’m a mystic at heart, which means I truly believe the words of Julian of Norwich, “And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” For me, being a mystic simply means I don’t need to know the mechanics of the divine to believe in the divine. I’m okay with a certain level of mystery and the unknowable. And I understand that “everything will be alright” doesn’t mean “everything will work out the way I think it ought to work out, with a nice, pain-free resolution for everybody.” I am blessed with the ability to believe that in some way that I don’t really understand, everything works out in the end.

But the end can be a long time coming.

Everything will be alright, but some things seriously suck before you get to the “alright” part. Some things, you should definitely avoid if you possibly can.

One of my kids got a death threat last week.

Hearing that a kid was taken off the school grounds in handcuffs by the police because the kid had a “hit list” that included one of your children is one of those things that sucks and should be avoided if you can possibly manage it.

It’s especially not fun to get this news via text message during a business dinner when you’re in another state. Because that makes it really difficult to immediately begin digging a bunker in your back yard, so you can stock it with canned goods and wi-fi and insist your family move in for the next decade or so. That was my initial reaction, anyway.

But there’s plenty of heartache to go around. The parents of the other kids that were threatened. The parents of the kid who was removed from school. (I know them. They’re good people. Who are probably as baffled as the rest of us by this.) The kid himself—because if he was serious about it, how does a thirteen year old kid get to that dark a place? And how scary is it to be in that place, where that seems like a viable choice? And if he wasn’t serious, if he was just trying to freak people out, or build a “rep” (whatever that means), he’s getting a harsh lesson in “why there are some things you just don’t say, and certainly don’t put in writing.”

Which brings me back to my original thought. Everything will be alright. I wish I could give all the parents, kids and teachers involved a giant hug, and say “Everything will be alright. I know you don’t necessarily believe that now. I know you might not be able to see it now. But it will. Someday all this will be a bad memory. How bad a memory is largely up to you, and what you do next.”

7 Comments


  1. ·

    I appreciate your world view, but it isn’t one I can share based on my life experiences. I can’t believe in the divine. Sometimes people are given more than they can bear. It’s not a test of will, it’s not making them stronger, it’s just too much. I don’t subscribe to the belief that everything happens for a reason, or that everything ends up how it was supposed to, or that it all works out in some way. Sometimes things just aren’t okay, and never will be. Some wounds never heal, and not everything is forgivable.

    I’m truly glad in your case that this is something that can most likely be overcome.

    Reply
  2. Kat French
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    Charles: Your comment reminds me of the line from M. Night Shymalan’s Signs, where the former priest says people break down into two camps: people who believe there is a divine someone looking out for us, and people who believe we’re on our own.

    I was thinking the other day that what I have is “gritty optimism.” I am not a natural optimist. My nature is to assume the worst. But my own nature isn’t my only portal on the world. Which is a good thing–it’s a blurry porthole formed too much from things that distort the picture. Navigating the world solely from the view my nature and past experiences afforded led to too much walking in circles, tripping over the same blind spots over and over again.

    And I’m also glad that this is a situation, scary as it may be, that didn’t have irreversible consequences.

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  3. ·

    My relationship to spirituality is a parallel with my family relationships: confused and muddled. I don’t spend much time thinking about either of them. I just live my life trying to do the least amount of harm to the world around me while affording myself a modicum of happiness. Maybe there is spirituality in that. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Kat French
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    Cultivating awareness of the harm or good we do to others is pretty foundational to spirituality, IMO. It’s a common entry point, and yet something none of us ever “advance past.” Spirituality is much more about mundane, practical things like kindness and patience, and much less about “woo-woo” esoteric concepts. Just my $.02. 🙂

    Reply

  5. ·

    Being a teen and raising a teen is tough business. My 15 yr old (soon to be) 16 got attacked at school last year unprovoked. It is scary business. The death threat thing-woo doggie, enough to make you want to install steel roller shades and order MRE’s online.

    But, like you–I am always looking for the silver lining.

    And it isn’t always easy. I hope that child learns from his mistake and gets the help he needs!

    Reply
    1. Kat French
      ·

      Being a teen and raising a teen is tough business.

      Word.

      Having eaten several MREs while Chris was an Air Force weather dude, I think I would probably sign up for one of those “diet plans” where they ship you frozen meals a week at a time instead. But yeah… we’re tracking on the same vector, there.

      Reply

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