Allowing yourself to feel joy, while still having empathy for the world around you.
While we were in Mexico, enjoying a sheltered slice of paradise, it was hard to not feel guilty for the privileges we were experiencing, while learning of so much of the world’s suffering.
How can one person in one part of the world feel so free and safe, and somewhere halfway around the world there are so many who don’t.
This isn’t necessarily a new feeling now because of what’s happening in Ukraine. I know for myself, and for many of you, the pain and suffering in the world is something you are not only consciously aware of but also deeply feel.
Whether this awareness is increased through a humanitarian crisis like the one we’re witnessing now, or even just simply through a daily meditation practice.
The more AWARE we become, the more we begin to FEEL.
One of the things I hear most often from some of the women I’m fortunate enough to work with, is that when they first begin a meditation practice, or really any type of mindfulness practice, they almost feel worse….at first.
Because for some of them, it’s the first time that many of their emotions and feelings, that we’ve been taught to hide or numb, are coming to the surface. It’s a release.
As we continue this practice of staying present, aware, and awake – our hearts being to soften and open. And with our hearts more OPEN, we begin to feel things more deeply. Both joy & pain.
For better or worse, the more aware you are, the more sensitive you become to the world around you. So in times like these, it makes sense that so many of our hearts are breaking, and may even feel guilt or shame around enjoying the privileges and blessings we have, while so many are suffering.
For many of us (me included), it can be hard to reconcile all of these mixed feelings. Enjoying and appreciating your life, while still feeling pain and empathy for those suffering near and far.
And the truth is, there is no way.
They simply coexist, together. Feeling grateful for what you have, while also feeling deep pain and hurt for others. We learn to feel both, together.
For those of you with heavy hearts this week, feeling helpless, or guilty, or just overwhelmed with the weight of the world.
Do what you can do to help, to support, to learn.
Give yourself permission to feel the pain, but to equally set it down and feel the joy and beauty and love around you.
Carrying around additional pain and suffering, created by our own guilt, worry, anxiety, etc, does not solve the world’s problems. It only adds to the collective suffering.
Now more than ever, I feel called to witness and feel deeply the suffering happening in the world. To do what I can to be of service and to help, and then in my own ways, in my own home, with my own family…
celebrate our blessings
embrace the abundance around us
without guilt or shame
And in some small way, feel and believe the words.
Peace begins with me.
Even if it’s just in this moment. In this home. In these walls.
Peace begins with me. And peace begins with YOU.