Genuine Broken Heart

In the very middle of the chest, deep deep inside
Something has broken
And it hurts almost all the time.
Sometimes it gives birth to anxiety, fear, and panic.
Sometimes it gives birth to anger, resentment and blame.
Sometimes it gives birth to tears.
This is our kinship with all who have loved truly—
From beginningless time.
You, my dear friend, understand it well
This genuine heart of sadness can teach us great compassion.
It humbles The Arrogant and softens The Unkind.
This genuine heart of sadness can teach us great
Fearlessness.
It awakens Those who prefer to seep and pierces through
Indifference.
This continual ache of the human heart—
broken by Loss of all that we hold dear
Is this not a blessing
Which when accepted fully—can be shared
With all?

—Ani Pema Chodron

QUESTION: Can I act on this wisdom teaching in the midst of such turbulent political times in our national history?

Reflection: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….I hear a part of me calling to reach beyond the turbulence of my reactions to the first 10 days of the new Administration.  Resistance, opposition (vital as it might be) is not enough for my soul.  I am pulled to try to engage across the divide, even in the face of disdain or dismissal.  Aren’t we capable of holding conflicting perspectives on pressing issues such as immigration, violence, economic suffering (to name just a few) in a safe and respectful dialogue with a purpose of finding a common good? I am greatly influenced in this regard by Parker Palmer’s book, Healing The Heart Of Democracy, The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit. Pema Chodron’s poem offers a “heart-breaking” invitation.