There is a lot going on in the world, friends. When I started writing these letters seven weeks ago, I thought there was a lot going on; let’s all have a good laugh at that together, shall we?
If this time has revealed new pains to you, you are not alone.
These aches aren’t new, but they certainly feel closer to home for many now. What we’re seeing is pain that was held by a few communities before. It was held closely—often quietly, but sometimes loudly, on frequencies that I for one, was simply not tuned into. I don’t have an excuse. I wasn’t listening. I don’t think I’m alone; I’m listening now.
This pain that’s lived for so long is being pulled out into the open; it must be in order to be healed. We must develop a deeper empathy to do the work required for healing. We must choose to tune in. But then what?
I was reminded this week of a prayer I hadn’t heard in years:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
That where there is hatred, I may bring love.
Where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.
Where there is discord, I may bring harmony.
Where there is error, I may bring truth.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there are shadows, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.
In the midst of this uprising, this awakening for many, there’s been a palpable grasping for comfort. It’s an understandable impulse; social media feeds look different, entertainment looks different, person-to-person interactions look different, and sometimes different is hard.
What if instead of seeking our own comfort, we sought to become comfort?
What if those of us with the privilege of looking away from the pain, sought instead to be a healing salve to it? What if rather than looking for ways to feel “normal” again, we looked for ways to bring what we like about our “normal” to everyone? What if we heard the pain to which we’re bearing witness—to which we are finally tuning in— and took action to not only soothe it, but heal it?
For it is in giving that we receive; in seeking to understand that we better understand ourselves; and in comforting, we may find our own real, better, elevated comfort.
The Standard Notebooks from Iron Curtain Press
They’re the perfect size, have good spirals, and good paper.
I could wax poetic, but what I want in a notebook is simple, but particular, and these fit the bill. Plus, you’re supporting a small business. My most recent restock came with a handwritten thank you. How sweet is that?
Art to Sooth Your Soul by Morgan Harper Nichols (@morganharpernichols)
I started following Morgan as a writer a few years ago and she’s just continued to develop her lane. She posts beautiful short-form work ranging from pure encouragement to thought-provoking. More than once I’ve set her work as my phone background because it has included words I needed in front of me often!
This 40-Second Video of a Bomb-Sniffing Dog’s Retirement Celebration
I do not need to say anything here, you just need to see it. Joy.