So much heartbreak. So much violence. So much divisiveness. So much judgement. So much talking. So little listening.
While I make my home north of the 49th parallel (where we have far fewer guns and in a crazy coincidence far fewer gun deaths), my heart breaks for every life lost in the mass shootings, the police shootings, the police killings, the terrorist attacks. It has been one hell of a summer so far.
And us, with our broken hearts. Shattered from a partner's betrayal but no doubt aching further from all the pain around us. It can feel hopeless.
But while hearts break in so many ways, there is one glue that never ever fails to make them whole again: compassion. When we practice compassion, our hearts get soft. When we practice compassion, the pieces can be melded together. When we practice compassion we have room to acknowledge other pain, not just our own. Compassion reminds us that we're not so different. It reminds us that hurt people hurt people. It tells us that the very least we can do is remain open to another's experience in the world. To not think that our experience is the only one that matters. That ours is the only truth. To know that there are so many ways in which we're shaped, for better or worse.
Does your view of the world have room for others that don't look like you or worship like you or talk like you or love like you? If not, ask yourself what you're afraid of. Nobody hates unless they're also very afraid. And then face down that fear in yourself. Ask yourself what's behind it. And what's behind that.
It's hard work, feeling compassion for people who we think are the opposite of us. For people who vote differently. Think differently. Live differently. For people who screw our husbands. For ourselves.
But I know that it's the only way out of this mess. The one in the larger world and the one in our individual worlds. Compassion can heal us all.