Yesterday I read a news article that broke my heart.
Every day I read things that worry, upset, hurt, anger, disgust, and shock me. But this went deeper, all the way in to that armor that 'protects' my heart from breaking day in and day out, moment after moment, when I see the pain and hurt and injustice in my little world and the larger world. That armor just dissolved as I felt such compassion for the boy I was reading about, such horror for the callousness he was surrounded by.
It has left me shaken. And also more awake to the suffering of the world.
Even though I want to live with an open heart, I can't will the armor around my heart to dissolve, I can only stay present with the heartbreak of the world, allow myself to see and witness what is going on. It's listening that let's my heart break. Listening to the stories on the news or directly from someone I love. Listening to my own stories and pain. Listening without turning away.
I'm trying to do this, to listen deeply rather than turn away or fall into emotional reactions and judgments, I'm trying to listen to people's hearts and souls rather than get caught up in the stories that pull me into a more intellectual experience of this moment.
These are intense times. These are the times that dissolve heart armor, that transform us, that draw us back to 'The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible' (as Charles Eisenstein calls it).
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.