I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.
― Og Mandino
This week, like many others in history, has been a sobering one on the world scale. With merciless decisions made on one side of the globe affecting not only the 2 men whose lives were ended after 10 yrs on death row but those who anxiously and hopefully followed their journey, devastating natural disasters on the other. Not to mention wild storms around Sydney that remind us of the impermanence of everything, including cheap umbrellas.
I used the word turbulent in a class recently and many a head nodded in agreeance.
My meditation teacher, Jacqui Lewis of the Broad Place, reminded me that perspective is a valuable commodity for making sense of it all. When 10,000 lives have been buried under rubble and tens of thousands more have literally had their world crumble beneath their feet the frustration we experience over such travesties as the local cafe not having bonsoy, the bus running late, our partner not giving us their unwavering attention 100% of the time, the shame of consuming bread, seem somehow trivial in comparison.
I saw an image this morning of Nepalese women and children lining up with buckets to collect water, a line up for basic survival needs, there but for the grace of God go I.
These moments humble us when we reflect on how chance and location can drastically alter the existence of our brothers and sisters.
Interestingly I found myself somewhat numb to the news of such events at first, as though what was being reported was unfolding like a film – thought provoking and yet not of my reality. How far these happenings seem from my own current view and yet this Sunday I travel to Bali and in recent weeks I had been discussing travel plans for India & Nepal, we are not so far apart. Nor are we far apart in terms of the essentials of survival; protection, support, nourishment, freedom, basic human rights.
I think sometimes we can feel numb to these tragedies because the enormity of the situation challenges our ability to help, but we can help – not only by sending prayers, money and aid but by spending time in meditation of the full spectrum these challenges arouse. To embrace the suffering of others and recognise their suffering is our suffering is to be fully alive to the moment, painful as it may be. Just as yin is to yang and the sun is to the moon, joy is joy because it is relative to suffering. In order to know joy we must also know suffering.
So faith and hope may be shaken in many this week but perspective is what will generate the ability to look deep into the despair of others and cultivate gratitude for all that we are blessed with. We occupy mutually inclusive fields of energy so any healing you do in yourself heals a proportion of those you encounter. Start small and from your soul, recognise the possibility to be calm and compassionate regardless of conditions and inclusive of all circumstances. Take the moments you can, no matter how small, to be of service and when you rest know that you are enough.