Like many others, I’ve been struggling lately – my thoughts and emotions overwhelmed by all the atrocities happening in the world. That’s why it was so helpful to read Ann’s words of comfort and reassurance in the tribute issue of this magazine, particularly her article The Healing Power of Crisis which is bears so much relevance to the heartbreaking news we’re getting lately.
Voice of good
I hope you’ll join me in focusing on the voice within rather than all the hurt. This doesn’t mean that we’re forgetting or neglecting, on the contrary, it is in this way that we see and act beyond that sense of helplessness – as Ann says, we’re “giving this Voice of Good the opportunity to build, in us, a consciousness and a vehicle capable of lasting”.
The voice within speaks with love and the more good we do, the more we act with love – the more positive energy we’re sending out there. We all wish we could do something and this is a good place to start.
This is how the All-Good actually swallows up all our lesser good and evil, and how we can co-operate in that work of sanctification. – Ann Napier
All the small things
I’m not trying to trivialise the awful things that are going on – we’re not naive enough to believe that hugs and wishful thinking is going to stop war in it’s tracks, just like that. But I do have faith in peace, unity and love and I know that, even with just the little things, we can fortify those strengths – one act of kindness at a time and one blessing after another. And I do have faith in the higher truth of humanity, which I believe will reveal itself to us as we pursue, as a collective, the quest of peace, unity and love. What do you say we give it a go, see where it takes us?
Every day we can remind ourselves to listen out for the voice of good, training our senses to hear it louder and clearer than propaganda. We can realign our focus to see everything there is to be grateful for in life. Gratitude journals help form the habit of looking out for the good things that happen daily … here’s a video full of uplifting examples:
Power of kindness
I read a touching example of the healing power of kindness in Toby Hart’s book, Four Virtues:
“Our birthright seems to include natural compassion, a capacity to feel sympathy for suffering and the impulse to reach out and help others. When someone falls in front of us or an injustice occurs within our view, we often feel a push from our insides to take action and help. Apathy, fear, violence, and self-absorption can be overcome by the recognition of suffering and the action of service through an open heart. Even tiny children seem to have some kind of natural compassion built right in.
My friend Stacey was visiting her parents’ home for the Thanksgiving holiday. A large group of family and friends had gathered. For several years, her marriage had been difficult, and on this day, her hope and her effort seemed to finally be exhausted. In the comfort of the family home, she let herself really grasp that the marriage was over. At one point she drifted away from the group and wandered through the large house until she landed alone in a quiet room. She suddenly found herself just letting go to all the struggle and grief of this loss, and she started to weep. She didn’t think anyone could hear her until her almost-two-year-old nephew walked up to her. He simply stood there still and touched her arm. In that moment, she said, it was like a current going through her. “It simply blew me away,” she said. “I have never forgotten it, and it has always stood for me as a supreme example of the healing capacity of a silent, loving presence.” Surely this little child didn’t understand her predicament. And maybe we’re making too much of it. But she had a distinct sense that he felt her pain and reached out with an innocent heart to simply make contact.”
Maybe this is what it all comes down to. All we have to offer is everything we are. We are the loving presence of this world … let’s reach out with open hearts and make that presence known.