Doing what we can, where and when we can…

A friend took me out for the most delicious coffee and cake yesterday. Somewhere new in that I’ve not been there before. Delicious gluten free brownie with raspberries on the top…. Streaming sunshine and outside tables…

Talking about the state of the world, who we are and where we are now…

And whilst we were there, another mom from my child’s school came out with her mom. They’d been out for a walk, and stopped in for coffee and cake…

The conversation turned to Ukraine and the war, how overwhelming it feels -and that desire to do more. Be More. Give More. This amazing woman, talking about how her heart was hurting…. And she felt so powerless…

It reminded me… There’s a piece I’ve been writing, about Grief and Gratitude, and the time when my father passed away – how overwhelming it felt. And how guilty I felt about “not being able to do enough”. That desire to do more, that sense of feeling guilty. The sense that I “ought” to suffer with the ones suffering – and the recognition that when that suffering, and those big, heavy, deep emotions did rise up within me – how I then felt crippled, and unable to do much of anything. Just exhausted.

My mom said to me at the time that I needed to be more like Mother Teresa. I remember being shocked, horrified, wondering how much more she thought I could take on… She went on to explain that in one particular interview Mother Teresa was asked how she managed to do so much? Her reply was that she didn’t. She only did what was in front of her, at any one point of time, until she could do no more. Then she handed it over “to a Higher Power”, and moved onto the next thing in front of her. So, she was only ever doing one thing at a time…. And being grateful for the ability to do just that one thing…

It’s good wisdom. I learnt, during the years after my dad’s passing, when I was trying to do so much, that my guilt and my grief over the suffering, heartache and pain I saw served no one. But that focussing on my joy, on my gratitude, on the beauty I saw around me – this kept me strong enough to keep doing “just one thing”.

Doing what I could, when I could, where I could. And putting the rest down….

My heart breaks at so much of the challenges I see being experienced in the world today. I am afraid. I don’t know how or where, or when it can get better. And this is the world my child is growing up within…

And yet, my fear serves no one. Guilt over another’s pain, whilst I have a home serves me. Instead, these emotions cripple me. Inhibits me, keeps me small and can even prevent me from doing more, stretching into what I could do… What serves me? Coming into my joy, reaching for gratitude. Letting it melt the grief and pain in my heart and strengthen me.

And then, from that place, doing what I can, where I can, when I can.

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