How deeply do you feel about the atrocities happening in the world? Do they fill you with sadness? Do you weep?
I hope so.
For to feel sorrow, fear, anger, helpless, overwhelmed or anything else in response to the state of our world is telling you something very important: you are still connected and you still care.
Unless we feel these things how will we be moved to act. Painful as they are, they call us do something. Through us the earth is speaking, we are her voice in the world.
The Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh was asked what we need to do to save our world. “What we most need to do,” he replied, “is to hear within us the sound of the earth crying.”
We know that how we treat each other matters, how we treat all living beings and the earth matters. We live on the most incredible heavenly body revolving through time and space. It is our home, an interconnected system of the most incredible complexity, without her in balance we are toast.
We who feel deeply about the plight of other humans, the animals, the forests, the oceans and seas, know what ails us. We sense the disconnection that allows us to bomb innocent people, to clear and burn ancient forests, to poison our rivers and pollute our seas.
One of my heroines Joanna Macy developed The Work That Reconnects, within which she calls us to share this pain we have for the world because she knows that our,
“capacity to suffer-with is the literal meaning of compassion, a central virtue in every spiritual tradition. It says you are a compassionate being.…..So don’t you apologise for the tears you shed or the rage you feel about what’s happening to our living world. They are just the other face of your belonging.”
So share your pain, weep and rage together, then let’s set our shoulders to the wheel of change.
A Hopi Elder Speaks
“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered . . .Where are you living? What are you doing? What are your relationships? Are you in right relation? Where is your water? Know your garden. It is time to speak your Truth. Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt. The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from you attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
We are not separate, it’s just a story, a modern myth.