Here I am, in Maui – a picturesque tropical paradise. What better place to be on Earth Day, to bask in the beauty, the majesty, the healing power of Mother Nature?
I could just leave this post at that.
And yet, my heart feels heavy today: when I think of so many others suffering in so many ways in so many places on this beautiful earth; when I think of the senseless death and destruction in Ukraine; when I observe effects of our human ignorance, so evident in the suffering of Mother Earth herself – like the dead coral and lack of fish in our favorite snorkel spots; when I think of 2 brilliant young adult children of colleagues who’ve taken their own lives within the past few weeks, unable (or choosing not to) cope with all the extreme challenges we are facing as a collective human family…
And then there are the challenges within my own Ohana, my own immediate family. Loved ones struggling with a sense of overwhelm, just trying to make it all work; hair-trigger emotional reactions, when usually there is equilibrium and harmony. A feeling of aloneness, even when surrounded by loved ones.
I share all this because I know I’m not alone. I know this is a time of similar challenge for so many of us. I believe it’s all part of a much Bigger Picture – the old paradigm must break down before the new one can emerge. I believe this in the very core of my being. I’m usually the one offering a spiritual rudder to clients, students, the plumber, the online help guy who’s had a really, really hard day…I’m known for posting inspirational sayings and urging us all to find joy amidst the suffering.
I still urge us to do that. And yet, today, in this moment, I need to just feel all this. I want to connect with you while I’m experiencing these nearly overwhelming waves of human emotion – feeling loss, grief, despair. Sadness. A deep, deep sadness.
I look back at the photo. The sun sets over the seemingly infinite expanse of the ocean. It closes out one day, even as it radiates rays of hope for the next.
I feel a flicker of transformation come to life within my emotionally-dulled being. As I continue to focus on those visual rays of hope, I remember I have a choice. Resistance surfaces. I feel justifiably stuck in suffering.
It takes a few moments, but soon I begin to I breathe into my heart center. As I do, I feel suffering turn to compassion. Oh, such a deep love I feel for all of us who are moving through this together!
Now, I am able, once again, to choose Love over fear. Gratitude over grief. Hope over despair. Joy over sadness? Not quite there yet. But I remember it’s possible.
This is what I have to offer the world today. And it’s enough.