A Love Letter to the World:

What do we do when the world aches? What do we do in the face of all the pain and suffering?

What do you do when the weight of the world, or the challenges in your personal life press against you, threatening to soak up all the air from your lungs, leaving nothing for your own, short inhale?

What do you do when the dishes still need to be cleaned, but someone, stuck in traffic, was shot in his car, in front of a four year old child?

What do you do when the market in Baghdad becomes a battle field?

What do you do?


I love you. 
I know you are hurting. 
I know I cannot truly know your pain. 
But I can bear witness. 
I can lean in, with an open heart. 
I can grieve with you. 
I can hold your hand.

“Walk slow. Breathe deep. Be gentle with yourself.”
“Feel your tender heart.”

“Keep your eyes open, closing them only – for a moment - when it is all too much to bear.
And – for a moment – you need to walk away, turn your back, go inside, lock the door and take a slow long bath, deep breath, reset.”


Like this, little by little, allowing ourselves to be and show up as we are, we can learn to open up a bit more each day.

The lion tamer looks the lion in the face. Not with anger. Not with aggression. With love in his eyes he stays with her, until she softens, until she surrenders beyond her instinct to attack.

Is this how we change the world?

“Don’t feel guilty for being white, middle class, American. Does this help?”

This is how I stay stuck.
How I become afraid to feel it.
Like it’s not my right. 
:ike, how could I know what it’s like.

Acknowledge the labels where they are helpful, 
where it is positive and important to know, 
to see,
to feel
to love
how we are different.

Then, tear them down
as soon as they threaten to cause harm. 
As soon as they become, an excuse
for more separation, 
more violence, 
more war.

take care of your tender heart.

Cradle it in your palms. Let it bleed. 
You will survive this. 
Take time to grieve. 
We cannot know how to proceed until we have lived this wide open to your – our - pain.

I have no personal connection to many who have been harmed.
I am not black.
I am not Muslim.
I am not Serien.
I have not held the dead in my arms.

But still, I ache.

And what can we trust, in these times, 
but our own ache
the drum, drum, drum
waking up.

This is compassion.
This, my friends, becomes the only way.

So while the the pain outside goes on spinning.
Do what you need to do
To take care
Of your body
Of your tender heart.

Do what you need to do
To be whole. 
To be ready.
Because it isn’t over yet.
It has just begun.

Action by action,
Baby step by short stride
We can turn the tide

So how will you take care?
Of your body
Of your self
Of your loved ones
For the stranger on the park bench, muttering to himself
For the obnoxious neighbor who won’t shut up
For the man who raped you.
For the boy who shot your brother.

This is compassion.
This, my friends, 
This becomes the only way.

Let go resentment.

Burn with love. Burn. 
This, becomes the only way...

Posted on July 10, 2016 .