This past year has been hard. Currently, I have a torrent of gnarly emotions stashed behind a mental dam that I’m not fully dealing with—the dam cracks a little each time I acknowledge it so I’m choosing not to look at it for very long. I’m saving it for…later. For now, I’m channeling my discomfort into my own form of aggressive yoga (there are pushups), and practicing body scan meditations to check in with my body along the way.
In my mind I believe I’m letting my emotional dam release in a scheduled fashion: acknowledging it’s there, providing some safe spillways for processing, some tunnels for inspecting any damage, a few postcards in the gift shop for tourists. But I know this is not the way emotions like to be treated.
I know resistance is futile. Change is inevitable. And pain is certain. But thankfully, kindness, forgiveness, and compassion show up anyway.
You may want to ask me: If you recognize this, why are you doing it to yourself? The answer is: because that’s just the way it is right now. I’m choosing to be kind to my stubborn unwillingness and forgive myself for not wanting to look at the hardest stuff right now. I know resistance is futile. Change is inevitable. And pain is certain. But thankfully, kindness, forgiveness, and compassion show up anyway.
A Collection of Characters Shining the Light
For this June issue of Mindful magazine, we’ve gathered together a host of wise and flawed characters to share their stories of pain, joy, and wisdom with you. Vinny Ferraro offers a practice on compassionate accountability for when you’re the one causing harm. Dr. Sará King shares her work connecting mindfulness, social justice, and inherited trauma. Psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett offers a glimpse into how our brains predict our reality. And our CEO Bryan Welch shares one of the most brave and vulnerable, raw and real essays I’ve ever read about the depths of suffering and deep wells of compassion that can come from a broken heart.
As I was editing this issue, Leonard Cohen’s famous words kept coming to mind:
Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There is a crack,
a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.
May we all find ways to turn toward our pain and suffering, accept our cracks, and acknowledge our walls—remembering that there’s joy, love, and abundance to be found even in our brokenness, simply because we’re alive.
Loving-kindness meditation can help us to awaken to how connected we all are. You don’t have to like everybody, or agree with everything they do—but you can open up to the possibility of caring for them. Read More