Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Reflections on Becoming Unexpected Activists (Or Our Life went Crazy Pants)

 Photo Source

Here's what I learned when my husband opened his mouth, cried on international TV, and our life went crazy pants:

1. You really NEVER know what is coming next in life. Good or bad. Control is an illusion.  
2. Pack a basic black dress you can wear twice OR pack a second dress. (See number 1.) You just never know what is coming next. Like, that time we were asked to meet the President the very next day and I only had packed one dress- that I was already wearing that night. On T.V.
3. Be present on the journey. Whatever you are experiencing will likely end soon, so hold on tight and enjoy the ride. (Or throw your arms in the air and scream like hell.) Maybe take notes and take pictures. But be sure to FEEL the wind in your hair and your stomach dropping on the downhill. It's a challenge to be present- I'm a work in progress on this one. But I'm committed to the practice and I've gotten somewhat better through the years.
4. Don't read the comments. (I did not do well with this one, I admit.) It amazes me how people watch the same video yet receive messages that are polar opposites. It's a bit scary, actually. But as Brené Brown says, the bystanders' opinions don't matter. The only opinions that matter are the ones in the arena. Frankly, I think when people automatically assume the worst of someone, it reflects more on the judger than the judgee. (I'm pretty sure I made those words up. And I'm going to keep them in here anyway.)
5. Don't be afraid to DARE GREATLY. Brian and I read Brené Brown's book, Daring Greatly as our own little book club. Brian feels it was life-changing. (And therefore it's life-changing for me too, as my life changed/changes when his does.) Brian only moved people at that press conference because he was courageous enough to be vulnerable. He showed emotion and people FELT that. Vulnerability leads to connection. (If only he had shown emotion the first 14 years we were together...but hey, that leads me to the next point.)
6. Live for the now and believe in the future. Breathe, believe, receive. GREAT things are coming your way. (And excuse me now- I'm going to get a bit spiritual and use the G word) God's plans for you are SO MUCH BIGGER than you can possibly imagine. He will use your pain for good. He will take a man who hadn't cried for 35 years, break him open, and then have him cry on international TV. He took a man who very rarely spoke about race with anyone, who was incredibly private, who turned down press interviews in the past and gave him the courage to Be the Change. I'm telling you- if a year-and-a-half ago you would have told me my husband was going to cry (just cry!) I would have laughed IN YOUR FACE. I used to tell him that I could die and he still probably wouldn't cry.   

Here are a few links from some of my favorite interviews from that time:

Dallas Trauma Surgeon Reflects on Irony of Treating Wounded Police Officers
With Ari Shapiro on NPR All Things Considered, July 15, 2016  (5 min 40 sec)

A History of White Delusion
Nicolas Kristof, The New York Times, July 14, 2016

Parkland Doctor's Candid Words Resonated with Black Professionals
Maria Halkias, The Dallas Morning News, July 15th, 2016

Surgeon Who Tried to Save Dallas Cops
BBC World Service, August 4, 2016 (50 min.)


  1. You and Brian: Complete, Recognize, and Dare great feats of Grace with such authenticity that the world is moved to a higher state of being. Proud to know such s special couple. Love,Kathy

  2. Anonymous2:26 PM CDT

    Been holding out posting ... Haven't been able come up the right words. But her goes. That little boy that was always so pensive and focused; always in control; always eager to learn something new; always striving to do his best, always wanting to do the right thing ... Grew up to be a smart, humble, and confident man that I, his dad and sister are so very proud of. I can only imagine how the events of the past month must feel like for you all (My Dallas Trio). Those events have surely changed your "everyday" ... But as you said, change is expected in our lives. We just have to listen and be ready for it. Wish I could have been there to shower you with hugs through it all ... but ... God was running the show (so to speak) with a clear plan in mind.
    {{{{{ H U G S }}}}}}} .... Sorry they're late.