This is a poignant day, and for some, a strange one. It stirs questions – how to carry forward our history, including shocking loss, so much unexpected pain, and structures of all kinds we thought were solid coming apart. One question I sometimes feel and reflect upon is how to take in the good when carrying this heavy load? Is there any room for it in a grieving or stunned heart?
These are personal questions, but in one way or another they impact us all. Anyone who has ever been caught up in collective suffering has grappled with it. And every healing tradition offers us ways to hold our suffering so that it doesn’t have the last word. In Buddhist teachings, one way to make room for a future sense of well-being is to know that personal suffering joins us with others. It’s part of the human condition, and the more we care for it with patience and compassion, the more we’ll be able to offer these healing and helpful responses to others.
Recovery from complicated loss takes time, and for most of us, lasts much longer than we’d hope for. But it’s what the psyche wants – room for all parts of us and every moment of our history, the good and the bad.
I’ll be wishing you all a year that gives you whatever it is you need to live into your own deepest well-being, and to trust that your presence in this world is precious.