Friday, May 22, 2009

Zen Activism

There is a part of me that seems to be holding onto a great amount of regret or guilt about my becoming less active in the Peace Movement.

There is a part of me that wants to experience a normal, calm, happy life.

There is a part of me in which the fight or flight response is always active. Years of living like this created what I think of as burned out circuitry that is partially responsible for my chronic depression.

I stepped back from activism and writing last autumn after the election in order to give myself some time and space to figure out what to do in the next phase of my life. Health concerns then entered the picture.

Deciding to focus on becoming healthy and just being happy is one of the most selfish decisions I've ever made. I confess I feel some sense of guilt about "abandoning" the peace movement. I will deal with this and come to a place where I feel satisfied with what I have been able to do and what I may be able to do in the future when I am healthy and have a renewed vigor and sense of purpose. And I still have the virtual world in which I can promote the message of peace.

Being on the front lines of the peace movement is stressful. I've had so much stress in my life that the addition of constant awareness of the world's pain, physical threats, traveling and being away from home pushed me over the limit of my tolerances.

As a mother I consider the examples that are set by my choices. I wanted to teach my daughter to be politically active and to believe that individual actions make a difference. I wanted to show my daughter that even though my mother was not always the best mother in the world that I chose to be the best daughter I could be at the end of my mother's life when I moved into her home in another state and cared for her as she left this life. And now I hope I am showing my daughter that I do what is necessary to take care of myself even if it means totally changing my way of life in order to become healthy.

One of these days I will be able to do these things for myself, but for now it is okay that I do them for her.

SRI medication has helped me live a somewhat normal life this past decade. Unfortunately this past decade is also the one in which my personal belief system required me to act, protest, and write whenever I could to help build the grassroots efforts to restore our country to some semblance of a democracy.

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So how does one weigh the actions that are so different? I have taken steps toward creating a virtual meeting company, I am working on a book about living well and being positively focused as a healing strategy. I enjoy a part time position that allows me to play with computers in a calm and healthful environment. I am sometimes at less than my best and have pain associated with my liver disease. We are just now finishing what has turned out to be a 10 year progressive remodeling of our home.

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