I propose we stop critiquing.
About this journey's rightness or righteousness.
And that journey's imperfection.
About "should" or "could" or "doesn't".
What if we stop finding secret shadows of satisfaction
in our hunt for flaws and shortcomings and failures?
In ourselves –
in each other.
Life has tarnish and typos.
Mine and yours.
Dents and rips. Dirt and dust.
Let us see not flaws but beauty in the patina that each of us wears.
Forgiveness in our own reflection. Kindness around each corner.
I see you.
You have made mistakes.
You carry both regret and judgement in your arms, aching to lay them down.
You have struggled.
Do you see me?
We're different, but not as different as you might think.
Because struggle and emotion are universal.
Everyone has moments of regret. Moments of judgement. And self-doubt.
Everyone makes mistakes.
And your God and my god need not be the same
for us to hold one another up when we stumble.
For us to see similarity in our differences.
For us to love one another completely.
And likewise our parenting need not be the same
for me to understand.
That you're doing your best with the tools that you have.
Just like me.
Just like all of us.
I don't need to change you.
I don't want to change you.
Because you're just right exactly as you are.
Different from me. And also the same.
It's an epic journey, no matter how we do it.
And I'm not keeping score of if you've taken each step on the same path as I.
Each of us trips.
Each of us falls.
No matter where our journey takes us.
And our paths are parallel in that we both struggle and seek and love.
We grieve and worry and forgive and wake the next day to do it again.
I once had a neighbor with a perfect house and a sprayed lawn.
Next door we were radical chaos,
overgrown garden exploding in dandelion fluff and two ragamuffin kids runing wild in the yard.
She had one God, we had none.
We had two kids, she had none.
But not one better than another.
When she fell on the icy sidewalk we rushed to her side.
Helped her in. Brought her healing soup for days.
When Christmas came she brought us a card and a jar of local honey.
We shared our organic veggies from the garden.
She shared flowers from her beds.
She got us. She saw our hearts.
And we saw hers.
Different. Each of us.
But none better.
When we moved away we both cried.
Because there was love.
Christ's love. Buddah's love. Allah's love. Gaia's love.
Pure love. Simple love.
Not arguing about rightness or righteousness.
Just love rising above difference and the inevitable judgement and irritation that come with it.
So today let us lead with that love.
Love for the sunrise, cloaked in mist.
Love for each other, however different we first may seem.
Love for ourselves and imperfection and the path we are on.
Love for the universal journey that we share.
The journey of this life.