As I was reading my facebook newsfeed the other night, I read a few headlines a friend had posted about extreme child neglect/abuse and I felt the familiar gnawing away at the center of my chest/the bottom of my heart. Oh my heart ached for those children, my mind went to what they must have felt, how much pain they must have been in. And as the night went on, it continued to "eat away at me". Ooh, huh. *Ding Ding Ding* When I allow something I have no control over to eat at me like that, I'm doing it again. Creating, inviting in, feeding my own parasites.
But then, really, what am I supposed to do when I hear stories like that? I've tried just NOT hearing them, which has helped. I pretty much get my only "news" from people I know, trusting that whatever I need to know will be brought to my attention. That has helped me become much more peaceful and focused on what I CAN control, which is myself and my own life and my participation in/reaction to those in my immediate relationships.
NOT feeling my heart break at the sadness and pain of others makes me heartless though, right? Being a "good" person involves caring so deeply that I try to feel/take away another person's pain for them. (Except for the fact that no one can ever work through/release anyone's pain but their own, but whatever. ;) ) But to have someone tell you their sad, painful story, look them in the eye, give them a hug, and say "Sorry about your luck" then walk away and leave them with their pain seems awfully cruel. . . So how on earth can I deeply care for someone and their pain and NOT take it on as my own?!?!?
I know of the happenings in Norway because I am in a group (though to just call it a group feels like a complete understatement of all it is, but I'll leave it at that for now) in which two of the blessed souls are from Norway, one who was very close to the bombing when it happened. And to read their words of love and hope in the midst of everything started some shifting. And then a big AHA! when a quote from a survivor was posted- "If one man can show that much hate, imagine how much love we all can show together." And that's it, really. Seems like a bit of a duh now, but that's it. When exposed to terrible, painful, unimaginable things, immersing myself in how they "must have felt" is not the only option. There is enough pain of that kind already in the world and adding my feeling of it does not help those who are already in it. The other option is to find the love at the core of myself, immerse myself in that amazing love, and hold myself and all involved in that tender, nourishing, supporting, transforming love-light. Love will bring more help to the situation that thousands of souls feeling the "pain they must have felt". We tell kids "two wrongs do not make a right" and yet that's what we do- when someone is in pain we try to empathize with their pain and then. . . what? You have two people in pain. Or depending on how publicized the story is, we may have thousands, even millions of people in pain. So we went from possibly just a few people in pain to millions. How does this help anyone?
So right now, I am going to, well, first finish typing and post this. ;) And then I will sit and find that endlessly deep well of love within me, and I will direct it to those children from the other night, and their parents, because to inflict that much pain on a child an adult must already be carrying around incredible pain. And I will direct it towards Norway. And I will direct it towards myself, into those places that still ache with pain. And next time I feel that familiar gnawing at the bottom of my heart, it is my intention that I will quickly recognize what is going on, and I will wash both my heart and the cause of the gnawing with pulsating, healing, nourishing love-light. Would you consider doing the same? Our world has enough pain, we need all the love we can discover! And OH! The love within us is so immensely vast! We just have to find it and choose to BE it. <3