Today was chaotic and filled with violence, toward our indigenous people down South, above all. I was distracted and angry, and thus participated in amplifying that noise. Guilt ensued. Am I listening too much to the noise that I am forgetting to listen to my own voice?
A friend told me that I might be becoming too immersed in politics and, with concern, asked, “How can you take care of yourself and Lia when you are drowning in noise?” I recognize the truth in this. Again and again, I make a commitment to stay off social media as much as possible to protect my inner peace. But every time, I find myself reeled back in by what could be excessive involvement. This is a constant struggle I have as an empath. Compassion and service are my sacred values. They are ingrained in my DNA. “We are not free while another suffers under enslavement. We are all limbs in one body, and we cannot chop off our own arm without deep suffering”. (Rachel Kann)
I am still learning how not to compromise my inner peace; how to balance activism with self-love. There is a delicate line separating the two. It is a double-edged sword because getting involved, for me, is an act of love for self and family. It’s endeavoring to help shape a world that is aligned with my sacred values, a world that is more livable and kinder.
It is so easy to beat oneself up for excesses. For trading our peace to propel the gears in a broken system. But for today, while I am still figuring out ways to be kinder to myself too, to learn how to step away from always extending a hand, I choose to be grateful for the urgency that forced me into the noise, however unsettling. For in it I found like-minded people that keep me from getting dispirited in this fight. It’s what pushed me today to listen to and converse with kindness with people that do not share the same beliefs, however insanely difficult it was to do in person as an introvert.
I choose to be grateful for my breath, for this body that allows me to feel and walk in others’ shoes, so that amid hopelessness I will find it in me to institute changes bigger than me – bigger than my happiness, bigger than my personal peace.