Sitting with Our "Stuff"

I want to say: Take time to sit with the heartache and rage. These are with us always, and to push them away only creates more dissonance and stress within us.

And I am also aware that this is an intensely personal act. Each of us carries our own stories and associations with loss, silencing, oppression, and trauma.

Sitting here in my kitchen, I have no right to say -- do this, do that. What do I know of your experiences? Only what you choose to share.

Only that we are humans, living in a time and place where violence and harm are so normalized that becoming numb is a very real coping mechanism.

And each of us must find ways to cope, to go on, to stay connected to faith in us without turning a blind eye to the real horrors happening all around us.

The news and the extinctions and the statistics and the students and the children and the abortion legislation and the shootings and the shootings and the shootings.

Then I stand in my driveway in the early morning, and the beauty of the flowering trees and bird songs makes me want to weep, for the gift of these and the stark, impossible disparities.

Thais Sky writes, "When we have no capacity to hold our own stuff, it's little wonder we have no idea how to navigate the complex waters of other people's lived experiences."

Sitting with our own "stuff" is the gateway to remembering our humanness. And remembering our humanness is our best hope these days for staying present both to suffering and to beauty -- one not negating the other.

That being said, there is no right way, no one way to do this.

It's ok to weep.

It's ok to feel numb.

It's ok to do your day.

It's ok to take care of yourself.

Remember that your impact is real.

Whatever you can touch, whomever you encounter -- the ripple and reach will go unseen but felt. Take in what you can, don't forget the power of stopping to breathe. You going a thousand miles an hour doesn't save the world. You creating space for your own inner quiet doesn't neglect the world.

There is room for all of it. There has to be.