January 8

ACCEPTANCE MONTH: DAY 8: “Life is not a sport. Life is not math. There is no final end goal and there is no right answer. Just because your truth does not match someone else’s truth does not make either of you wrong. Life is not a zero sum game. If I am right, that does not make you wrong. If you are right, that does not make me wrong either. A jar of vinegar can sit in a cupboard beside a box of baking soda peacefully, and we can allow those who disagree with us to exist alongside us without reacting to them. There is nothing to prove. There is enough room in the world for all of us.”― Vironika Tugaleva

I spent some time yesterday with a young woman who is very open-hearted to the world. She is experiencing a great deal of sadness and was overwhelmed by earthquakes in Puerto Rico and fire in Australia. We spoke about this. I sob hysterically when I see fires, because I feel the Earth burning and the trees being destroyed and the animals…omg!…the animals.

We spoke about how painful it can be to be empathic and open-hearted in the world sometimes. I told her we can only do what is in our path to be done in these situations. When the world around me (literally!) was on fire a couple of years ago, I spent many of those days in helping to rescue and shelter or feed and water wild animals as they fled the fires. Sadly, I developed a pretty serious case of COPD as a result of not having the right breathing equipment to do this work. My bad. I am still sure I would make the same choice.

And we talked about what we are called to do in these times. I am really certain that it is not of any good for me to watch the news. I get too overcome by sadness and emotion in situations where my only part is to do what is front of me and contribute in small but significant ways to offset the balance where I am. That is, from the teachings I follow, my part.

We spoke for a long time about NOT shutting down to protect our own vulnerability and open-hearted way of walking through the world. She is a healer as well. We know these things as we learn to navigate the world that can seem horrifying and frightening, or overwhelmingly sad. It is from that space that great change is wrought, but it is not ours to do alone.

Seeing how we can balance ourselves in a world where sensational headlines scream at us from every device is a challenge. My method is to avoid input that does not feed my spirit. I watch no network news and read very carefully anything that reports information that is of interest or import to me. I know what I need to know to navigate the life that lies directly in front of my feet. I do not need others’ opinions of what is happening in the world. I am informed, well-educated, and very intelligent, so can make my own choices and form my own beliefs around what is presented. I no longer need to invest either my time or my energy in things that do not belong to me. That is a great truth I have come to accept. I am not here to save anyone or anything. I am here to be responsible for only my part. It is much smaller than most of us believe.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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