I’ve spoken with many people recently about their stress, about the heaviness in their spirits, and about their exhaustion. Often, we look to fill space with comforting words and actions. Yet often the most healing thing we can do is to make space for others. Make space for their feelings. Make space for their voices. Make space for them to simply exist as they are. We can hold people with our eyes. With our body language. With our acknowledgement and affirmation.
Before we open our mouths to speak, let’s ask ourselves if we have opened our hearts and minds to listen. I wonder how the world would change if we carried the hearts of others in our hearts. Do you know what I mean when I say that? It’s a feeling I get when I’m connecting my heart center with the heart center of another person. While I can never truly take on the full emotion and full understanding of the lived experiences of others, I can try. I can sit in the feeling with others.
The world is beautiful, and it is painful. I was recently in a professional development session, and they shared this quote from Adrienne Maree Brown:
“Remember you are water. Of course you leave salt trails. Of course you are crying. Flow.”
That permission to feel and flow with the feeling is important. It’s important for ourselves and it is important for others. I found myself struck by another line that said to remember that “You are excellent at loving.”
When I think about how I hope people remember me in the end, I think it would be a source of great pride to know that others found me to be “excellent at loving.” May we all fight for and honor the humanity of all people.
And in our pursuit of doing so, may we also be excellent at loving ourselves. Often, that means giving ourselves grace. Often, that means nudging ourselves to learn more and do better. And always, that means loving ourselves through the mess. The mess that is being deeply human.
I’ve heard it said that when we are in distress, we can take comfort in what we know. For example, simple things like reading a book we love again or watching a show or movie we love, can be comforting. Or simply listening to a music album where we know and love all of the songs.
So, for me, this week I take comfort in the solitude of my writing. The place where I come to sit with it. Whatever it may be.
Whereever you need to go to sit with it, make space. Make space for your feelings flow. So you can see yourself and the world more clearly. So you can make space for others. So you can get out there and make this world better.
How will you make space for the flow of your emotions this week?
What is something that you know that you can take comfort in this week?
How can you create space for other people?
What does being excellent at loving look like for you?