It is hard to be tender hearted. Despite the best efforts of my grandparents who raised me, my teachers, all the cruelty of the world and the mean heartedness of some people, I have survived. I stopped fighting it as a young woman when I finally realized that despite the pain, it was also my greatest gift, affording me sight and understanding that not everyone else had.
But compassion is not just a gift, it is a necessity for our lives, and especially for the future of our children. Continue reading
“And therefore, all of those for whom authentic transformation has deeply unseated their souls must, I believe, wrestle with the profound moral obligation to shout form the heart—perhaps quietly and gently, with tears of reluctance; perhaps with fierce fire and angry wisdom; perhaps with slow and careful analysis; perhaps by unshakable public example—but authentically always and absolutely carries a a demand and duty: you must speak out, to the best of your ability, and shake the spiritual tree, and shine your headlights into the eyes of the complacent. You must let that radical realization rumble through your veins and rattle those around you.” Ken Wilber
It is easy today to point to people in other countries and situations and talk about their shocking lack of compassion. How could they kill innocent children like that? How could they do that to women? How could that woman have done that to her child?
But I live in a world, in my small corner of life, where there are people living their lives without compassion. Their happiness seems predicated on making other people suffer. These are not random acts that occur that one could say it was a mistake, they didn’t mean it …. these are systematic, prolonged efforts to destroy other human beings with unkindness. These are people who are not only openly practicing hate in their own lives, they are teaching their children how to do the same. Continue reading
“In life, we think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem. The real truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together for a time, then they fall back apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that.
Personal discovery and growth come from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.
Suffering comes from wishing things were different. Misery is self inflicted, when we are expecting the “ideal” to overcome the “actual” or needing things (or people, or places) to be different for us so we can then be happy.
Let the hard things in life break you. Let then effect you. Let them change you. Let these hard moments inform you. let this pain be your teacher. the experiences of your life are trying to tell you something about yourself. Don’t cop out on that. Don’t run away and hide under your covers. Lean into it.
What is the lesson in this wind? What is this storm trying to tell you? What will you learn if your face it with courage? With full honesty and – lean into it.” Pema Chödrön
While other kids were getting their “Strawberry Shortcake” back packs I was insistent on a briefcase. I had some important stuff and no way was I going to trust it to some pony that sparkled or that dimwit Barbie. I firmly believed that if you were going to be taken seriously, you had to dress the part.
It was really effective in church. They would herd us into Sunday School class – I am serious … this bell would sound and this guy who looked like Moses leading the Israelites (only we were more miniature and in fluffier dresses)would take us through the wilderness (the pews) to the promised land of milk and cookies. It would be years before I found out that “Moses” was a woman and that yes, women could have facial hair like that and really ugly brown sandals. Continue reading
Letting go can seem like the end of the world. What will happen to us if we let go of something or someone that has been such a big part of our lives, especially if the letting go is not what we want to do? Our penchant, especially as women, is to love. We all paint pictures in our heads, tell ourselves stories about who we are, what we are supposed to do with our lives. We can race ahead of our decisions and imagine the negative outcome of our actions. We hear our families disapproving voices, we relive all the Sunday School Lessons, we feel the disgust of strangers who don’t even know us … judging. Are we bad people when we finally choose ourselves instead of bleeding ourselves dry for people and situations that are not healthy and may never be? Continue reading
“War does not determine who is right – only who is left.” Bertrand Russell
The ALS ice bucket challenge is all over the internet. Lots of people are doing it in half measures (no ice – which I suppose is proof of how cold the water actually is)and some are doing it without any real understanding of the purpose behind it. Such is the power of the internet. We don’t even have to understand something in order to line up to do it because everyone else is.
I watched one of the video’s of a young man who understands ALS from a different view than most of us. Then I spent a night tossing and turning.
I was impacted by the pictures of him tending to his mother. It brought back too many memories of the 3 years my husband suffered before he died. It also brought back conversations we had where he asked me to make sure that I shared his story so that this did not have to happen to any other families. That was kind of how he rolled. He hung on way beyond anyone’s expectations because he was worried about the kids and I. He took his friends out for coffee or lunch to tell them he was dying because he could not bear that they would “hear it” casually from someone else. He wanted people to know he knew he was dying and that he would be ok. He wanted them to know he appreciated them. He wanted his suffering to create understanding and compassion and maybe even force changes for other Acute Intermittent Porphyria Sufferers.
And then he died. Continue reading