“I am resilient
I trust the movement
I negate the chaos
Uplift the negative
I’ll show up at the table again and again and again
I’ll close my mouth and learn to listen”
"Resilient" by Rising Appalachia
Self care and compassion can sound like shallow topics because they are positive pursuits. The “good” stuff is supposed to come easy, right? If only.
I emphasize self care and compassion / non judgement so much because when we practice them, we have the capacity to grow our roots and become resilient.
We can deal with someone in our lives not liking us without taking it personally.
We can hold uncomfortable space with other people in our lives without sacrificing our integrity or shaming them for their beliefs.
We are secure enough in ourselves to not let another person’s opinion of us our our beliefs change how we relate to them.
We learn to invoke nuance in tough spaces instead of clinging to a polarity of “GOOD” or “BAD”.
We know how to care for ourselves and our people when the world seems rough, cold, and heartless.
If we don’t develop these skills in our lives, we do ourselves and our communities a disservice.
My inner empath reminds me constantly our worlds are in crisis of all kinds. Every day it seems there’s something more divisive happening then the last. It used to be countries and factions warring for territory, and now our own families and faith communities are broken up along fault lines of opposing belief systems.
No matter what polarity we cling to, walling ourselves up with people who think exactly like we do, and dehumanizing the “others” doesn’t fix anything. Defensiveness of our own positions and belief systems only widens the divide.
We are where we are in the world because for so long, it was easy for many of us to not do this emotional work. It was easier not to learn to take care of ourselves, and extend grace to others. We could live on automatic and not worry about our inner worlds too much.
It was easier not to talk about hard things.
And now, here we are, the communal division and trauma rising, with no clue how to respond. And so we armor up, build our defenses, and prepare for war, divided even further.
The castle and moat a reminder that we care more about our chosen polarity than about our people.
I have strong belief systems. I feel them in my bones. But I still feel the fear and shame of those who might be seen as my “opposition”. I hold space and grace for their healing journeys. While they won’t change my core beliefs, I know they have much to teach me.
We can’t heal this communal trauma by ignoring it. As we heal ourselves and our relationships, we heal our world.
So tell me now, how love and compassion are the simple choices.
Tell me how easy it is to hold space for someone who believes differently than you do.
Tell me how you sweep shame out your front door every morning.
Tell me how you show your children and your community daily to choose love over fear.
Tell me what work you do internally to show up as the most authentic and vulnerable version of yourself in your world.
Tell me what advantages you have in life, and how you leverage them to help those who aren’t fortunate in those ways.
Let’s not allow “love”, “compassion”, and “empathy” to become just buzzwords. Let’s find tactile ways to show up behind them, every day.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that” Martin Luther King Jr., “Love Your Enemies” Sermon (1957)
Megan is a writer and creator from Wallingford, CT. She is passionate about empowering women to step into the full power and identity they were created to embrace and claim.