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Challenge: Open Discussion

Finding Peace and Perspective in the Chaos

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Everybody has an opinion right now. Your sister’s husband’s uncle has a plan to fix everything that’s wrong with the world (which is everything, by the way, and he knows exactly who is to blame for it all, thank goodness, because what we really need more of right now is blame.) Your kid’s ex-soccer coach’s wife is more than willing to tell you (and all the people on the blessed internet) how the whole world is going to hell in a handbasket, which is super hopeful and encouraging. Cough, cough.

I’ve got nothing to compete with any of it and I am zero percent interested in joining the cluster. If that’s the jazz you’re looking for, look elsewhere, friend.

I care deeply. Maybe too deeply, if that’s even a thing, because I feel ALL the things. All of it. Every hateful word that’s spewed or popped off. I feel it in my chest. And do you know what gets to me more than emotionally heated reactions? Carefully aimed hatred and lies. It’s exhausting. I’m emotionally sapped. I absolutely will not join the chaos. So I’ve got none of the fuss, but I’ve got this.

Go outside. Put your phone down, turn off the TV, shut the laptop, and go outside. There’s a whole world out there.

Break a sweat on the trails and make your heart pump for a good reason. Or hang a hammock between two trees and take a nap. Pitch a tent and stay a while. Go fishing or skip rocks or splash your bare feet in the cool water. Take a walk at the park and let the children’s laughter make you smile a little. Sit on the porch and listen to the wind rustle the leaves. Poke your head out a window, close your eyes, and tilt your face toward the sun. There’s perspective and peace to be found. Just go outside.

Go. Outside.


Now breathe in. Breathe out. Again. Again. And again until you don’t have to think about it anymore. Until your shoulders relax a little and your jaw is no longer clenched. Stay as long as you’d like or as long as you’re able. A week. A day. 5 minutes. 30 seconds. Just go outside. The same old mess (and maybe even a new mess) will be there when you choose to step back in. But, lucky us, God’s given us a wide world for the next time we just need to go outside.


Follow Mandy McCarty Harris for more stories of living happily in the awkward middle of life, love, and parenting.

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