It’s Time for Beauty
When your heart is heavy,
when your eyes are tired,
when you’ve been working too much and too hard,
when your anxiety runs high,
when you’ve read about yet another cruelty
happening in our world…
let it be time for beauty.
Yes, pause just wherever you are –
in the office or at the kitchen sink –
and look around you.
She’s always here –
sometimes ever so quietly
calling you to watch your
son’s eyelashes as
he does his homework,
sometimes ever so grandly
like a sunset of the most
magnificent shades of oranges,
reds, and yellows.
Let her soften you and
open your heart.
Let her soothe your strained eyes
and weary heart.
Let her remind you that there is
good in the world –
Let beauty save you from turning
apathetic or numb.
Let her pull you offline and
out of the world of likes and comments.
Let her guide you back into
connection – harmony –
with what is sacred and true.
Let her reawaken our humanity.
Lisa McCrohan, MA, LCSW-C, SEP
I usually love summer. Even though I work from home and I have a lot on my plate, I usually love school being out, going on adventures, and taking time to rest and all of us just be home. But for some reason, August was hard. My ears were sensitive to every little noise. I couldn’t concentrate like I usually can. I was bothered by little things. I often help my coaching and psychotherapy clients contextualize their inner experience by looking at the macro environment in which we live. A person may be feeling anxious, irritated, or “on edge.” And when we look at the current sociopolitical climate, we see that there’s a lot of harshness, decisions and comments that come out of nowhere, and cruelty. This macro environment contributes to our inner micro environment of our emotional and psychological wellbeing. And so it’s not “just us” or “something is wrong with me.” It’s something wrong with our larger system – our environment – and it’s impacting our inner world.
The other day, I was listening to the memorial service for John McCain while driving home from my parents’ house. It’s a rarity for me to be in the car alone for over an hour. I listened to George W. Bush and Barack Obama giving their eulogies. And I was so moved. Here was a man who lived with honor and integrity. Here was a man who devoted his life to a cause bigger than himself. Here was a man that used his privilege and power to work toward a better world…and a better America.
The retelling of how he lived his life was such a stark contrast to the vileness that some politicians tweet. Driving with tears in my eyes, I thought, “God, we need men and women of honor and integrity to lead.” I realized how much harshness we’ve been living under with the current president.
I thought about the horrific cruelty that is coming to light as of late, yet again, in the Catholic Church. I was in Boston studying theology and clinical social work when the news first broke about the sexual abuse of children by priests in Boston – men who had power and privilege – and wielded it for awful, twisted pleasure. And now, a grand jury report in Pennsylvania cites over 1000 cases of children being sexually abused by over 300 clergy and the hierarchy covered it up for decades.
Our disgust could turn into hopelessness – will anything really change? We could easily become apathetic or numb. In our daily working, parenting, and living, we could become more easily overwhelmed and tired, making us more sensitive to the realities of our everyday lives.
This is when it’s time for beauty.
Beauty?! Yes, beauty.
Turning toward beauty soothes our fried nervous systems, strained eyes, and weary hearts. Beauty reminds us that good still exists in this world. Beauty calls us away from numbing out in front of TV or going online every hour to “just check” social media. Beauty gently reconnects us – to nature, to what’s sacred, and to something bigger than us. Beauty reawakens our humanity. And it revitalizes us to live according to a deeper call with conviction.
As we live according to a deeper call, we live lives of honor and integrity. This is how John McCain lived. And today we need more women and men living with honor and integrity. But if we are overwhelmed, disheartened, tired, or apathetic, first turn toward beauty. Pause and look around you. Pause and notice the beauty in your dear ones. Pause and open the senses. And allow beauty to reawaken your convictions and your humanity.
I am excited to announce my new online course, Regarding Our Children, for parents and educators to help our children to thrive. Our children’s nervous systems need these pauses for beauty. In our current political climate, with video games that are about survival, and with the looming anxiety of school shootings, our children need reminders of what is sacred. They need touchstones that keep them anchored in what matters and supports them in living with honor and integrity. ROC is all about helping you as the guiding force in your child’s life to raise children who remember what is most important, who live with honor and integrity, and who thrive now and in the future. I hope you will join me.