I woke up to news of another shooting. This following all of the divisiveness of the US elections a couple days ago. That following the heart-breaking images of starving children in Yemen.
I don’t need to go on. I don’t need to list the countless more.
You know all of this.
Your heart feels it, too.
I’ve written about this so many times, after so many tragedies. How do we go on in the face of so much horror, fear, and grief?
Every time the answer (for myself) comes back the same: be the light in the dark.
The thing is, we do go on. We keep going to work and raising our children and making art and listening to music and peeling carrots and pulling weeds from the garden and visiting our grandmas and buying ice-cream and clipping our fingernails and reading books and walking to the post office.
We do go on. Because in spite of everything going on around us that might be breaking our hearts, we are still alive.
I might rephrase that and say “Because of everything around us that is breaking our hearts, we owe it to the world to be as alive — and loving— as possible.”
We can be the antidote.
We can be the light.
We can be what gives the next person we see a glimmer of hope that the world is good.
You don’t have to solve everything. You don’t have to know what to do about the mass shootings, starvation or mental illness.
You simply need to listen to your heart, listen very closely to what calls to you, and take the smallest of steps toward the light.
Maybe you want to reach out to a friend who is going through chemo and ask her if you can sit with her during the next treatment. Maybe you donate money to one of countless charities that moves you with its work. Maybe you volunteer at a nursing home, animal shelter, or soup kitchen for the homeless. Maybe you adopt a child. Maybe you help an elderly woman carry her groceries to her car. Maybe you crochet scarves and leave them in public spaces for people who are cold. Maybe you listen intently to someone who is lonely.
There are so many ways that we can be the light for the world around us.
Do not get paralyzed with overwhelm and feel helpless.
(I’m talking to myself as much as to you, right now.)
Do not sit crying at home.
Listen to your heart and follow the light it offers you as an antidote.
I believe, as I always have, that love prevails.
Be that love.
Be the light.
And from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being on the other end of my morning right now. Thank you for being light for me. For giving me a direction to turn that is not full of frightening shadows. Thank you for everything you do today to soften the edges of the world.
Seek celebration — even in the dark corners,