This is such a journey - in spite of the fact that we can hardly step outside at the moment, we are managing to step into a completely new reality! We are slowly coming to a point of realisation that everything has changed and most likely will never look quite like it did before. The changes are so fundamental that by proxy it changes most of our lived experience, from if and how we work all the way down to our perspective and sense of security. I know for sure that I will never look at life in quite the same way. The biggest shift for me is a lessened sense of me and an increased sense of us.
Kindly does it.
I have been reading some profound journalism lately as well as some valuable articles on social media. The observations and perspectives that I am exposed to are revealing an aspect of human nature that we are often too distracted to pay attention to - our intrinsic and abundant ability for kindness. Going through what we are as a collective is making us so much more aware of others and their suffering. And so many people out there are doing incredible work, not for themselves but for us.
We have gone from denial, to panic, to hyper connectivity and then to quiet. Perhaps it all just became too exhausting and being quiet became a refuge. In this quiet space thoughts, feelings and awareness arise without distraction. Much of what arises now is around uncertainty, and fear of an unknown future. But we are imagining the future from where we were, separate and isolated from people around us. Not only separate but also often in competition with those around us. As I look at photographs and stories from around the world I think the future may look different. We have no choice but to stand together to cope with the rigors of a new beginning.
When life conspires to strip you of all the old securities, you have to search for something new to fill the vacuum. We are experiencing a paring down so seismic and spectacular that our internal reference points and narratives may be completely redundant soon. Our sense of who we are is dissolving. And just like our caterpillar dissolved, there came a moment when something new had to start taking shape. Something completely different. It is time for us to start thinking of new narratives and reference points that are inclusive, that acknowledge what is true rather than what we choose to believe, and that brings us into close support with all other human beings in order to create the one big heart you see above.
I love Naomi Shahib Nye's poem on Kindness.
"Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
Feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness..."
I won't quote it all but do yourselves a favor and read it. In a discussion on the poem it is said she sees kindness not as a bland act but as a deeply felt communion. Kindness born out of the toughness of life.
I have had experiences in my life that temporarily felt like a terrible kind of death, and at those points the only thing that soothed my hurt soul was kindness - of being and receiving. Kindness stood in stark relief to the pain of loss I felt. Anyone who has been through true grief will attest to that.
So if you want to start filling the pockets of loss, remember this:
Kindly does it.