I spend many of my days sitting with people who are courageously finding their way in our challenging times. Often, they are very aware of the state of the world. They may feel isolated in their deep caring. Often they wonder whether the pain they feel is their own, or is that of the world.
There can be no doubt that Pachamama, Mother Earth, is suffering.
So are innumerable beings. How could we not, if our hearts and spirits are open, feel their pain, fear, confusion, and anger? How could we not hear their calls for aid?
We are taught, in Western culture, that the suffering we feel is INDIVIDUAL, the idea being that we are separate from one another.
I have found that the values I grew up with as a Native person are not valued in this culture: connection, community, humility, compassion. Our understanding of the world, as a place of infinite relationship and sacredness are considered dangerous, or simply naive. For if we humans acknowledge Pachamama as our mother, how could we destroy that which birthed and supports us? If all beings are relatives, how can we allowthe extinction of other species or commit genocide?
As we are infinitely connected to the world, we each have the capacity to transform some of suffering we see or face. Because suffering is BOTH personal and systemic, we may heal as we get to know the histories that created and maintain that suffering. As we are bridges between the generations, we can work with the Grandmothers and Grandfathers who have gone before us to bring healing to the present, and to future generations. Such healing is often incremental work, rich with meaning and deep in relationship.
When we open to life as it is, we may find joy in talking to an old, wise tree, walking in the woods, or asking the Creator and Pachamama to place our feet on the path they wish us to walk. How often we find joy in opening our hearts, even to what hurts! In this very moment the Creator, Pachamama and the Ancestors are speaking to us. A walk in the woods is an opportunity to listen for their voices.
To open our hearts is to offer solace to a suffering world.
It is an act of courage, and of resistance. When we open our hearts we join an ancient lineage of beings who care enough to risk more suffering, yet court joy. Such acts of deep love and humility are a great salve.