Though I often have hope, at times my spirit feels tired and world weary. Maybe it comes from living in Trump land where believers still believe though it's all quite unbelievable. It's hard being surrounded by people who I cannot understand, though we are both human.
The sheen of grief from world events is often hidden under layers of work, to do lists, the callings of life or even a very enthusiastic vision. Grief is an emotion that easily buries itself, reaching deep into bone and sinew. For where is the place for grief? It never has its time. Yet when the spirit carries too much of it, it has to come out. And today my heart feels heavy like an overweighted sponge. As I ring it out through the simple process of feeling, my heart beats and honestly it feels like nothing but love pouring straight out.
It's odd that grief, so reviled, is actually sourced in love.
For I care. I care so much and I don't know if I can stop this caring or if I want to, but sometimes all the news of the world is too much to bear. Women still not believed for coming forward about all of the assaults on our bodies and on our simple act of being -- yet we are berated for not sharing our experiences further. How can we share when we're given hell either way? Even putting young girls through rape kit tests which are "forgotten" in courts. The assaults on our bodies has never ended, yet even the good guys don't have much to say about it.
It's all too much to bear and how can we bear it on the daily? This too is shoved down to the mysterious damp places of grief.
The assault on the earth is similar and the war on women's bodies and the earth have often been likened to one and the same. The mirrored griefs go hand in hand and yet business must go on as usual, the machine cannot stop.
Don’t apologise for the sorrow, grief and rage that you feel. It is a measure of your humanity and maturity. It is a measure of your open heart, and as your heart breaks open there will be room for the world to heal. - Joanna Macy
How can we bear all of these truths? What seems almost funny to me on this morning is that the denial of this pain or grief actually hurts more than processing it.
As I said, I feel a pure love shooting through my heart as I feel and write, as I bring the grief to light. The processing of it is healing and as Joanna Macy, an earth-warrior, psychologist and writer on dealing with earth related grief, writes,
Feeling the pain of the world is not a weakness. This is God-given or, put another way, an aspect of our Buddha nature. This openness of heart that characterizes the caring individual is a function of maturity. Don't ever apologize for the tears you shed on behalf of other beings. This is, in its essence, not craziness, but compassion. This capacity to speak out on behalf of others, because you have the right to, because you can suffer with them, is part of our spiritual nature.
People fear that if they let despair in, they'll be paralyzed because they are just one person. Paradoxically, by allowing ourselves to feel our pain for the world, we open ourselves up to the web of life, and we realize that we're not alone. I think it's a cardinal mistake to try to act alone. The myth of the rugged individual, riding as the Lone Ranger to save our society, is a sure recipe for going crazy. The response that is appropriate and that this work elicits is to grow a sense of solidarity with others and to elaborate a whole new sense of what our resources are and what our power is.
A group experience restores a deep faith in life. There is a strong sense of coming home at last to one another, so that we face this together. The institutional and political systems in power have much momentum, which means there will be reversals and disappointment. There's no guarantee that we're going to pull through. At the same time, we are challenged to be courageous, to stand on our understanding of the truth even though others don't.
"Link arms with others and don't act alone."
I share these feelings this morning as a part of my process, but also as a hand reaching out coming together. I do not believe it is weak or wrong to feel this way, though it is often shunned in our culture, but a part of the whole. In a crazy world with so much devastation, I think we are actually crazy to not feel some form of despair or grief.
I am thankful for all of you here who I am connected to who also speak up for the earth and make conscious decisions to live a life that reconnects.
If you're interested in further reading, I highly recommend tapping into Joanna Macy's work. It is through processing our grief and allowing it, that we find the strength to continue making change: