Many of us are part of this inspiring movement…One that spreads incredible acts of genuine love. Do you want to join or are you already in the gang? There is so much goodness in the world and in you too, it just isn’t always noticed or appreciated. Like the folks with whom I stood at the consulate in San Francisco to help end the slaughter of dolphins at the Cove, or the elderly clerk who asks people ‘how are you’ and really means it, or Jamie who left a note of appreciation every day for a worn out coworker, or my friend Claire who raised funds in her little store for 11 orphans in the Congo in one week, …
There are so many unsung heroes and heroines who, in a small or big way, ignite our hearts and create change. But, sometimes we can get down with the state of affairs in our world, when we see the darker side of humanity and love is just a word.
Recently, I held a sweet 11 year old girl in my arms and stroked her soft, brown hair, while she wailed like a river that had been waiting to unleash and spoke what she had held back for far too long:” I just don’t understand, why do I have to learn about wars in school? Why do I have to remember the dates even, when all this suffering in the world just doesn’t make any sense? Why do we make slaves, and some white people think they are better than black? Don’t people understand that we are all humans? Don’t people understand that the earth belongs to all of us and the animals too to share? We should have lessons in school on how to create peace and learn compassion!”
Have you asked these questions too, or still do? Well. She was in the midst of it and sobbing from the bottom of her heart. What she said though arose from her innocence. An innocence, which is not naïveté’, one which lives in each of us, but we forget or bury it inside. So often we disconnect from this pearl of truth, this simple, yet profound knowing in our hearts – when we feel hurt, when we feel alone and lost in a world too confusing to understand. Something closes down. And then, of course we act in ways that do not make sense. How do I tell her this?
Instead, I simply held her, letting her know that I am here with her. That’s often what we need the most, when we face suffering too great to bear alone. No smart words or concepts are needed then. After the tears had subsided, I looked into her big brown eyes and said: “I get how much it hurts. And it is nonsense what we humans sometimes do, when our hearts are shut down, and when we forget what is true and what really matters in life. It’s infuriating, because you care, hm?” “Yes!” She burst out loud. “How about we share with your teacher or the school some of your brilliant ideas? I think they gotten stuck and need a bit of help…” She perked up, laughed, and was inspired to bring forth change. Just like that.
She simply needed to be heard, seen and met. And then she could move from tears, to love, and act.
One way or another, we all experience suffering. There is no three key formula to end it in one shot (sorry, the marketing frenzy has gotten out of hand, if they told you that). But, there is a way to relate with what arises in you and in the world. You can turn toward the pain, the anger-whatever shows up-to feel fully, stay present and allow yourself to open. Truth shines forth through the cracks of our hearts, and if we follow curiously this pulse of aliveness, this natural intelligence, a way emerges, leading us into greater love, compassion and peace.
Moment by moment, choose to be present, lean into love and act from here- whether you meet challenges or joys. For, connected, we know how to act in sane ways and we become a beacon of light – one that lifts and illumines even the darkest place.
I know, summer is long gone, but I still remember the retreat I guided on Mt Shasta, and how beautiful people’s faces looked at the end. Like, veils had been lifted and connection, happiness and love just was naturally here. It actually always is. And it is calling in this very moment to turn toward what is alive in your heart and live it fully, come what may. Shine that light of yours into this world, for we need you here!
May you travel with courage, ease and grace, wherever you are on this wild and beautiful journey of life. With Love, Nicola