It’s Monday, and I read the news. Then, this Beatles lyric popped in my mind. I’m not a Beatles expert—I just like their songs. I was born in ’64, and my older uncles played a lot of Beatles tunes in the mornings when they were getting ready for high school, drying their mop-tops with the vacuum cleaner.
The news today isn’t good. Mass shooting. Terrorist attacks. Wars. Lack of diplomatic discipline.
My stomach hurts, and I feel so sad for us humans.
I remember when some other terrible shooting happened in the U.S. when my children were small, more than twenty years ago, and I wanted run away. I wanted to take my kids to a country with almost no gun homicides; there are many countries like that. I wanted to go, to hold them safely in my arms, and to reject our policymakers' dangerous kowtowing to gun lobbyists. I wanted to distance myself from my country that built the military-industrial complex, my county that did insidiously fund the nation’s defenses as a tool of economic stimulus.
Today, I don’t want to run. I want to be in my own pain long enough to hear it, to know it. Today, I want to transcend criticizing my country’s practices and focus all my energy on our common humanity. Borders of voting districts, states, and countries are all made up, invisible lines. They are illusory.
Today, I ask you to be with your pain. All of it. Do not numb it by binging on Hulu or Facebook or M&M’s or wine or anything else that dismisses your feelings. Do not try to soothe your pain by pointing your finger at someone who wronged you. Do not join the blame game. Be all of your humanness.
And as you feel and see all of your humanness, tell yourself the truth: that we are all human, and we are all divine. Therein lies the paradox.
I am like you. You are like me. I am completely unique. You are completely unique.
Today, ask yourself: how can I see myself more fully, more clearly, and more compassionately? How can I look at my own wounds, without judging or being a victim? How can I see my pain for what it wants to teach me?
That is the divine work of being human. To stay in my own sadness, frustration, anger, heartbreak, disappointment and fear, long enough to see it fully. For it’s only when I see it that I can address it, claim it, diffuse it, transform it.
Today, when you speak with those you love, don’t speak of the blame you have for who’s done what in the world. Speak of how you feel about yourself, with compassion, and speak what’s true about you. Share beyond the minutiae with those you love and by whom you are loved. Make connection. See each other’s humanity.
Today, don’t read the news again and again. Call your mother instead. Visit a friend. Do a favor for your neighbor. Learn something about them that you don’t know, something about their own humanness. Talk about it. Share what’s on your heart.
We are here on Earth for each other. Let today be a day that we live like it.