A stirring, an imbalance, an unthinkable happens and there I am…swirling in thoughts and emotions.
Although we seem unconnected, we are tethered undeniably to others’ experiences, their pain, their suffering, their anger. Their division and righteousness becomes mine, even when I don’t want it to be.
And then comes the arduous task of sifting. Sifting through the messages in all of this…not what it means to my community or the statement it makes about my society, but the fundamental lesson for me in the perceived tragedies and suffering that stand before me.
I dare not admit how my thoughts flow in circular motions…how I cannot point at the right or wrong…it all just seems to come back to me, to the fear I have that any one of them could be me.
…the “victim”…the “suffering”…the “perpetrator”…the “responsible one.”
These labels belong to my deepest shadows and like threads dancing on a loom, have long since been woven into the fabric of me.
So, I turn my anger to the scariest one in an attempt to cut that thread. And then the story unfolds, my experience is defined by calling out the grossest attributes of others although deep down inside I know they are still undeniably tethered to me, undeniably me.
It is then that I must fill with compassion, for each of them and for me. I must allow these situations and the contrast they provide to take me back to the center of my being, to turn inward and calm the swirling from the inside. Instead of needing the contrast to tug at the fabric from the outside as if separate from me, I turn inward to reweave the threads, to smooth the snag so that the fabric on the outside lays out more seamlessly.
Each time the contrast begins to pull and tug at me again, I slow the loom, treasure that thread, and remember that no matter what any of us have done or who any of us seem to be, the threads are the same – it is a complex fabric that tethers you and me.