The events of the world have been swirling around in my head. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. We seem to be living that old Chinese curse… You know the one, it says: May you always live in interesting times!
My musings, however, may be a bit different than yours. Because of my physical disability and challenges, I’m a bit more high maintenance. I need grab bars in the shower. I also need higher toilets and barrier free entrances. As I age, daily physical life becomes more interesting.
Despite the above, my routine remains the same. I start every day with a shower. I’m pretty rigid in this regard. Whether I continue to require more and more adaptations or not, showering daily is almost nonnegotiable for me.
So when I think about what’s happening on the world stage, I think about all of the people….the healthy ones, the disabled ones, the elderly, and the children. I think about their daily routines and how they are coping being deprived of them.
For the women who are traveling thousands of miles to the border between Mexico and the United States hoping for asylum… Probably with children… How do they manage to not only keep their children safe but fed and clean? Where do they find diapers for the little ones? How do they manage monthly sanitary needs? How and where do they go to the bathroom and shower?
And once they reach the camps at the southern border, how do they manage daily physical demands in desperately overcrowded conditions? All of this on top of fear, exhaustion, and the threat of violence and rape hanging over their heads nonstop?
And all of these questions are also applicable to those who fled Afghanistan, Syria, and most recently Ukraine… And any other regions in conflict that I have neglected to mention. So much of the world is in turmoil.
There is very little that I can do physically to mitigate all the pain and suffering on the planet. However… I can have compassion and I can send out love. I can remind myself daily that there is no “us versus them.” There is no “other.” There is only “we.” And there, but for the Grace of God go any of us!
The very well-known Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron talks about the practice of Tonglen. This is a type of meditation where, on every inhale, you purposefully inhale your own pain and suffering as well as the pain and suffering of the world and you consciously and purposefully exhale love and compassion to yourself and to the world. This practice helps us to remember that we are all connected. My version of this is a little bit different. As often as I can, I try and think about all of the above when I get in the shower in the morning. I try to dedicate my shower and the feeling of relief that comes with it to all those people throughout the world who don’t have access to showers or toilets or sanitary supplies or diapers. I ask that the Universe/God/Spirit give them that FEELING of being showered and of relief and help them to know that they matter. Energy always follows intention. My hope is that my repeated intention for ease and grace for ALL will hopefully improve the lives of those in need… Whether they are in my neighborhood or at the southern border or on the other side of the world…
I invite you to do the same kind of thing. The more that any of us can focus on peace and compassion, the more we can gentle the energy in these crazy times!
Wishing you peace of mind and heart.
I’m glad you’re here.💜