Broken heart, open heart

Today I am sad and that’s OK.

I am sad because we woke up far too early so that he could get on a plane that I simultaneously wished for and against with equal passion. We are both on paths that work for us; being together in the same space isn’t the best solution for now. I look forward to each day charting new territory.

I am sad because I feel pain when I hear leaders give into fear and reject those who need us most. I won’t begin to imagine the lives of Syrian refugees, but I know they need help and support. While I appreciate that people are afraid that what happened in Paris could happen here (and, in a sad way, it does in our schools on an appallingly regular basis), I believe that when we help each other, more good than bad happens.

I am sad because many of my friends are suffering, physically and mentally. I try to be there, but am not always successful. I am not sure what to do, if anything, to ease their pain. I want to be there all the time for everyone, but know this isn’t possible.

I am sad today because I open my heart and let in the world. I love this sentiment that hearts break open – they don’t shatter, but make themselves vulnerable to what is around them, experiencing “little deaths” so that they have the compassion to understand and work through the big ones. We are kind not because our hearts have stayed healed, but because they have broken and grown bigger as a result.

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The sadness in me won’t stay long because I see joy, hope, and trust too. Joy in the fact that Dave is off to a new country – a tropical island no less – and I will join him and other loved ones in five months. Hope in the fact that, for all the leaders who are crying for closed doors, there are others who are dedicated to keeping theirs open. Trust in the fact that my friends have support, are strong, and will see their trials through.

I think it’s important for me to feel as I do. Because it’s true to who I am. I am open to the suffering and the healing that follows. And I know this process is a constant cycle meant to be embraced to live life fully.

You cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing over your head, but you can prevent their making a nest in your hair. Chinese Proverb

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Buddhist temple outside of Iksan, South Korea

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