At times like these, when I am consumed with darkness and the world outside my door is wracked with chaos and strife, I am tempted to withdraw. There have been many moments when silence has provided me with a depth of solace that nothing else could have. Or so I believed…
Today, faced with the unrest with which we are surrounded, I feel compelled to share my story. In person, on social media, here… whether the audience is as potentially large as a public post on the internet or as small as a one-on-one conversation, there is something about raising my voice that is providing me comfort now.
Perhaps it is because this time, it is feeling silenced that has caused the despair.
Today, there are stories all around us of people in pain. Yours may be among them. Mine is among them. I urge you to share your voice, and to listen to the voices crying out around you. How else can we grow to understand each other, if not through listening deeply to each others’ stories? Not just the stories that you can relate to, all the stories.
I do not need to share your experience to understand your perspective, but I do need to be open to hearing it. I do need to be open to accepting that what you say is true for you, even though it may not be in accordance with what is true for me. I need to be able to respect the validity of your perspective, even if it it a world apart from my own.
I want to be able to say ‘I Love you’ and have it carry meaning deeper than an impersonal platitude. I want to be able to mean I Love Who You Are, human and imperfect and emotional… and in need of being heard.
And I can only do that if you share your story. I can only do that if I am committed to listening to your story. I can only do that if we come together with compassion for one another, committed to bridge the chasm that divides us.
I can only be present for myself and for you if I approach the differences in our stories with Loving Kindness.