1. Truth: The Universe is pulling me in another direction. It’s the strangest thing to be living your life as usual, pretty much the same as it’s been for years, but to feel a change pulling at you like a strong wind or current in a river. Sure, you can try to go against it if you’d like, but it might pull you apart or even drown you if you do. And the moments that I give in to the pull, allow myself to be carried along by it, I feel a sense of ease I haven’t known in a really really really long time.
2. Truth: My Something Good lists are something else entirely to me. They are a record of all the things I want to dive into more deeply, research and think and write about, but because I don’t have the time or energy for that right now, I share the lists, save the rest for later.
3. Truth: I’m not going to focus on the positive. At a poetry reading I attended last week, poet Ross Gay described joy as something that allowed room for grief, and said it was a practice. I have very little patience right now for those who would have the rest of us ignore the brutal, the terrible in favor of sunshine and puppies. I love those last two things as much as the next person, maybe even more so, but I can’t ignore the suffering that exists. I can’t lie about it or look the other way. Even though it’s tempting, my goal isn’t to feel better or be more comfortable. My mission is to ease suffering, in myself and the world. For that, I have to keep my eyes and heart open, make room for all of it, and help when and where I can.
One wish: May we fully listen and be present for suffering, and do what we can to ease it.
Thank you for this, Jill. Thank you for reminding us that it isn’t all puppies and sunshine, no matter how much we might love them and want them in our lives. We must not turn our backs on the suffering. Otherwise, we are just as guilty as those directly inflicting it.
I really appreciate this, Jill. I’ve come to believe/understand that relentless positivity is a way of keeping us from seeing the true causes of suffering (our own and others). It’s a terrible form of victim-blaming.