My Facebook feed this morning was full of pain.
Somedays, when I log in there, I hold my breath in anticipation of what has happened in the world while I slept. Actually, it’s not so much anticipation, as dread.
And this morning, it was louder than ever. It feels like there’s a steam engine of pain and cruelty and heartache and pure sorrow gathering speed in this world.
My heart. It aches.
For victims and their families. For their communities. For the world’s communities.
For those who see it, feel it, imagine themselves in it… the hurting ones. The raging ones. The weary ones. The frightened ones.
And for the ones who feel they don’t have the right to take on this grief.
My heart aches for you too.
When you’re hurt beyond imagining by the torment of the world, and yet feel powerless to say or do anything that may help.
My heart aches when your mind tells you that your concerns – the ones about paying the bills, or getting the kids to school on time, or finishing that project at work, or the fight you had with him last night – are all trivial in light of what’s happened in the world this week.
My heart aches for the guilt you sometimes feel – because you felt the joy of his warm arm around you as you woke. Because the roses from your garden (you have a garden!) bring a smile of delight to your face. Because the way the sun shines through the leaves makes you pause and breathe and relish being alive. Because you’re safe and warm and comfortable and alive.
My heart breaks for you. And for me.
Beloved, I am writing this today because I want you to know – it’s okay.
It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to feel the collective pain of this world and scream the house down. It’s okay to rant and rave and cry and feel like slamming something. You – the same as anyone with a beating, compassionate heart – deserve to feel what you feel.
It’s okay, even when others tell you that you have no right.
It is the pain of a planet, on the verge of change. It’s getting louder every day. You and I – we have as much right as anyone else to our pain and to our existence.
Beloved, please don’t judge yourself. Please don’t ignore your pain or smother it to please others. And please, please don’t belittle nor make apology for your everyday concerns. They are what makes you, you. Fully and uniquely you.
Your pain is your pain. Your grief is your grief. And your joy in the midst of that is what gives me hope.
You cannot hurt enough to heal the world. But you can love enough to try.
It is my hope that by learning to feel, allowing ourselves to feel – without any judgement about whether this is mine to feel – we will become more in tune to both the pain and the beauty that is this world of ours. And maybe then, we’ll see ways to help. Ways to change. Ways to Love more.
I wish you love. I wish you freed of self-judgement. I wish you joy.
For without the joy, how could we know hope?