Is with presence. With breath. With showing up. Steadily, consistently, slowly… one moment at a time. One breath at a time.
As long as your heart is beating. As long as you breathe. There is hope. You are here. You can be part of a better tomorrow. In whatever way you are called.
So much pain surrounds us, bombards us, ceaselessly, endlessly, an onslaught of horror and devastating destruction beating our tender hearts. We may even feel numb to it at times – our systems simply can’t take in any more. This is a brilliant, inherent form of self-protection. We are not meant to live in stress 24/7, and yet that is what our world offers us.
Each of us has particular causes that tug at our hearts, keep us awake at night. Many have so many causes pulling at us that we feel stuck, spinning, uncertain of what to do or where to even try to do something that matters.
We may feel guilty that we aren’t doing enough. That we’re not on the front lines, protesting, marching, directly supporting survivors. We look at other people and feel inadequate. We feel the weight of the need and the impossibility of holding it up ourselves. The demand is intense, and perhaps, at times, in our sense of not-enoughness, we collapse. We surrender in defeat and don’t even do the one thing that we could do.
Sometimes we need beautiful, vital self-compassion or tender care for our hurting, depleted souls. Understandably, we need a break. Sometimes we stay silent because our voice feels too small, our words ineloquent, our knowledge lacking. Sometimes we pretend we’re ok and we soldier on, because we think that’s what we’re supposed to do.
Often, we don’t ask for help. We forget there are others feeling exactly as we do, and that together we are stronger. Together we are a force that can move mountains. We are impatient and want results right away, so we forget to notice the tiny steps of hope and progress.
We may not even know what to do. So, begin with presence. Allow yourself to get quiet and still so you can hear the inner guidance. Ask a question, “What would you have me know?” whether that’s to Love. God, the Universe, or your own heart or soul. Ask, “What is mine to do?” Is there an action you feel called toward? Whether it feels enough or not, what is part of your mission in this life? What can you offer?
If you are depleted, then first rest. Fill yourself up. You cannot give when you are not abundantly filled. Do this with complete permission and lack of guilt. We need you restored. This rest will benefit everyone. There are many who share your concerns. We can take turns showing up.
The one thing I am certain of is that it is our job to make it through. To find our way to what’s next. I don’t know if there is “another side” to the pain you’re feeling right now, but I do know there’s another day and a natural, messy, complex evolution. I know for certain that things in this moment will change. For better or for worse? I don’t know.
We transform meaningless pain into meaningful pain when we offer our heart’s gifts to the world. Whether the heart touches one other person who needs your words or gentle caress or you touch millions with your words and actions, it does not matter. What matters is that you find your way. Your expression. Your next teeny tiny or gigantic step.
Along the way allow yourself to feel everything that you feel. Sometimes all at once. Our hearts can hold it all. Our souls know how to be with extreme opposites. You don’t need to deny moments of joy in favor of heartache – invite them both in. You don’t need to push down the outrage that is screaming to be unleashed.
You are well-resourced to find ways to feel, to release, to express as part of the healing and growing journey we are each on. When you feel not well-resourced, reach out. Get help. Invite people into your life who can help you find your next breath or your next step.
Let go of expectation. Stop comparing yourself to what others are doing. You have your own way. Your own way of dealing. Your own way of helping. Your own way of healing. And your own way of difference-making.
Some are on the front line, marching, protesting, shouting. Some will run for office. Some will write letters and send money. Some will offer practices that nourish and nurture others. Some will write poems or posts that speak to the hearts of someone else. Some will offer food, shelter, blankets, and clothes filled with love. Others will silently send their loving kindness meditation and their prayers out into the world. Every bit of it matters. Stop comparing and judging. We need it all.
What’s your way through? Where will you begin in this moment? What is it that your heart, soul, mind, and body need right now? How filled up are you? Do you need to step away to be recharged? (We offer our phone that luxury – let’s offer it to ourselves!). Do you need to reach out and connect with someone to help or be helped? In different moments each of these things is a valid response. Each one will feel right at times.
Whatever you do, begin with breath. Begin with love. Come into your doing from the heart, holding an intention of highest and best. Begin with care and compassion for yourself so these are the energies you exude out into the world. If you are not filled with these qualities, you will find yourself burned out, resentful, bitter, and that is what will bleed into even your best-intentioned offerings.
Love, what would you have me know this day? That is the question that’s alive in my heart. This is the place from which I long to be led. And so, I ask.
In response I hear, “My dear, this is a painful time. Your heart is breaking – again. It breaks over and over with every death and every senseless act of violence. It breaks when you hear the despair. Your soul feels the pain of loss, for all the families. Your heart is tender. Care for it and then offer love. Send it out in waves – through your writing and through your prayers. You will know when there is another action to take. For now, let this be enough. I am with you. I love you.”
Here's a meditation "The Way Through" to support you.