When I started this blog, the promise I made to myself was: 1) post when I have something to say and 2) be authentic. I have something else to say…
There is a special club that some people belong to, and our membership comes from various backgrounds. I will explain later why am I calling it The Zip-a-dee-doo-dah Cry Club. Let me tell you a little bit about this club…
Each Tuesday morning my favorite segment on WABE/NPR airs at 7:45am…the StoryCorps Atlanta segment. Yesterday morning featured a story about an ex-pastor’s “pre mid-life crisis” named Dustin Lemke. During the story, he talked about the inconsolable cry, and the date that forever changed his life. His story stuck with me throughout the day. Why, you ask? I knew and understood. Mine was sitting on my mother’s sofa, and my date was March 28th, 2014. That was the day I resigned from my high paying position with a Fortune 200 Company, and had NO idea what was next. I headed to New Mexico and eventually home to Atlanta. Dustin headed to Tampa.
One of our most recent members is former House Speaker John Boehner. On September 25, 2015, he resigned from his role and retired after over 25 years in Congress. Some may call it weak, some may call it a view of insanity, some just don’t understand…I call it clarity. Just as clear as day, he said his morning prayers, and came to terms that today was the day. There was no turning back. Clarity. For me, I couldn’t sleep after tossing and turning for three hours, and “God is Trying to Tell You Something” started playing on repeat in my brain. I sat up and said “Ok, God you want to speak with me.” Just as clear as day I heard “You are done with this.”, and had the most peaceful sleep after. Then both John Boehner and I cried inconsolably. I can probably safely assume that he cried like that as well. It is our rite of passage into the club. Our reasons for resigning or leaving that life we are in is more complicated, but for three of our members we got a push from the “Man Upstairs” to finally do what we were afraid to do. When I watched him cry during Pope Francis’ speech to the Joint Session of Congress, and the joy on his face when we walked into his press conference. I turned to my friend, and said “I get it. I know that joy.”
What is the cry and joy about? It represents facing a truth to the most important person…ourselves. It represents a fear of the unknown. It represents a release of the past and facing a new direction. It represents freedom.
The next move makes a few question our mental stability. We flee. Dustin packed up his car and retreated to Tampa, FL. John packed his bags and retreated to Marco Island, FL. I packed my car and retreated to Corrales, NM. Why do we flee? We are going far away from the life we were leading, and we are focused on repairing ourselves. We are in survival mode to protect ourselves. We have a lot of our own shit that we need to deal with, and that we have been carrying around for years. It’s not you, it’s me. We sing and celebrate because life is so much clearer.
What happens after you flee? The weight on our backs gets a little lighter. We cry some more. We close ranks. We isolate ourselves at times. Just let it flow and happen.
This is the prayer that former Speaker Boehner read to his Republican colleagues when he resigned from his role and Congress, “The Prayer of Saint Francis”.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
I think we should adopt it as club prayer.