How may I love better? How may I be of service?
Awake at 3 AM, with little rest remaining in the evening. Morning felt exhausting and nearly unbearable. My body feels assaulted by the traumas of uncertainty for myself, but also for the impact that I am currently being on others.
I laughed a little (probably so as not to cry) contemplating the epigenetic reverberations going through my DNA these days, and particular last night (and others like it) in the moments when doom and gloom surge to eclipse the light. Fortunately I don’t have to go much farther than the morning news to recognize that a) I’m not alone in suffering right now and, B) I certainly don’t have the worst of it.
With the American democracy on the decline, threats of global disease epidemics, 700,000 Syrian refugees on the move, the stock market booming, hearts breaking everywhere, the waters are muddy indeed. Even though I find the strength of will and bones to rise with the dawn this morning, in spite of the sleepless exhaustion, even though I start the day in invigorating conversation with brilliant peers, even though I plot the courses to research practical elements of law and money (finding only clarity of absence), even though I maintain a clerical balance of mundane issues, even though… Even though… Even though I spend the afternoon surging ahead in paid work like never before, even though I dialogue with my mother, her own turmoil and uncertainty at the forefront, in equanimity and love, even though… Even though…
In the face of all of this, I still feel like I’m walking through a thick fog. Even though loving hearts spit flicks of light and care in my direction, even though… I still have no ground from which to measure the goodness or the efficacy, or the foolhardiness of my actions.
It seems that that is a true statement, but perhaps it’s not… Even there, a fog.
I am in awe of the mystery of the fog of mind, and cutting through it in moments of meditation. Somehow that practice creates space and even brief moments of clarity (feels almost like confidence). When I’m working, to grow income, to plot and organize options, to write words, to meet love with love, I can surrender that feeling of trauma that rends the DNA. In the moments between, the chaotic vibration remains. In meditation, repair.
There is a trauma that belongs to all of us. Whether it is the loss of your country, the assaults on your president, the guns at your back, the sand in your fields, the oceans rising at your doorstep, the loss of a loved one, the loss of an illusion, trauma is barking at our doors today, perhaps louder than ever. One question lies at the front for me, how can I meet this trauma of “mine” to metabolize misfortune and to nourish others?
I find it quite simple today. Not my situation, of course, that more often than not seems bleak. What I find simple is that we must grow in our capacities to care for one another. This may take many, even unfamiliar forms for each of us, but we must ask now, and again, and again, even though our cries may echo in emptiness and uncertainty, even though… We must ask, how may I love better? How may I be of service?
Writing this evening is a struggle. I feel empty and strained, like I’ve nothing to give, and no one wants it anyway, but I know that is not true. I’m just grateful that I wrote a little bit so that through this fog of words I could find that little mantra, something so simple, something so known to me, and yet somehow forgotten…
How may I love better? How may I be of service? I desperately want to know.
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…