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Image by Julian Hanslmaier

Our Hearts Can Hold Us

The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses over it. Love is the bridge. ~Stephen Levine

I begin right here, right where I am. I won't ignore this terrible night or the pain and horror it inflicts upon so many lives. It's devastating to look into the eye of war and global crisis. There's so much heaviness and sometimes I can't help but be overwhelmed by the constant heartbreak. Other times I feel hopelessly numb or caught up in fear and anxiety about what's to come. But I know I can't fight against my feelings; they are simply messengers telling me what is wrong or unjust. I let them have their say and I let them be. It calms me to have a space where I'm allowed to voice my fears and anxieties without needing to fix them or appear put together at all times.

This writing comes through many days of silence, frustration, desperate prayers and seeking for answers on what to do or say at this time. I keep coming back to my journal as a witness to my own process and healing journey. That's more than enough right now. I don't have to have everything all neatly figured out or in order. I have every right to feel confused by catastrophe. It's also normal to have a greater need for love, warmth, safety, and support, particularly when confronted with shadows beyond our control.

It feels nurturing to come closer to my heart and know that this beautiful organ is built to hold so much. The most subtle layers of the heart space are fine tuned to perceive wellsprings of wisdom beyond our personal understanding alone. According to Sufi philosophy, the heart is a deeper level of the mind. It contains vast awareness, higher forms of consciousness, spiritual knowledge, as well as our human suffering. It's wide enough to embrace all pain and confusion, as well as our shame and intense fears about the future. Our heart perceives beyond the known world and guides us through our passion, intuition, and sparks of inspiration.

The mind of the heart is an intelligence that makes it possible for us to receive Divine aid and inner resources such as courage, resiliency, and most of all, mercy for ourselves and others. It's a threshold into our capacity to love and be loved. The heart teaches us to have compassion for our wounded selves and to trust we have enough room to reach out to others with the same grace we are given.

Right here, right where I am, I pray to be held by my heart's unbreakable mercy. May it extend across the world and touch all who are in the greatest need of love at this time.


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