Sometimes life is hard.
The news is not good. People are awful to each other. Fear and hate seem to be winning and love and compassion become afterthoughts to feelings being expressed in 140 characters or 1000 word blog posts. There seems to always be a "spin" being put on the information we receive and deciphering this coded language is enough to make even the most hardy of folks weary and tired.
When life is hard, when the world feels like it is going to hell in a hand basket, I tend to curl up in a ball like a southern three-banded armadillo and wait for the "threat" to pass. I shut myself away from everyone and everything until I feel like I can come out and deal with it all again.
But today, I didn't.
Today was an odd day for me.
Today I looked outside of myself and tried to really see others around me and let them see me. Just regular people that I interact with in my day to day life. And yet today, because I opened up my shell a crack to let some of them in, they let me into their lives a bit too. Today was filled with moments with these people. Moments of clarity, of love, of acceptance. Moments when, for just a second, we recognized in each other that same scared little child, that hopeful kid, that barely-holding-it-together adult and said a silent, "I see you. You matter. Right here. Right now." to each other.
In yoga class, my friend Mandy shared this Rumi poem with us:
THE GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
So be hard World.
I can take it.
I will welcome the pain and fear, because beyond that is healing and courage.
Take all you want from my house, so I can make room for new guests, new thoughts, new paths to forge ahead on.
Spin all your news however you think it will matter. I won't let it spin me, or my conscience, or my convictions.
Today I learned that curling up in a ball may protect me for a time, but opening up and letting people in, that is what is going to really change my world.
in some small way,
I'll change the the Big Bad World out there too.