During this time of loss and fear we have a great opportunity to feel with the rest of our world.

Psychotherapist Miriam Greenspan says that our own painful emotions might help us discover a close relationship between our “heartbreak and the brokenheartedness of the world.”

If today you were sad, know that millions were sad today too. If today you felt fear, know then that you are confederate in this emotions with billions of others around the globe, especially those who have lost their loved ones, those who have lost jobs, especially those in Third World countries.

We may want to be rid of our darker emotions, but they are a part of us and part of our world and they have the potential to bind us together. It has been my observation that we bond over our weaknesses even more than over our strengths.

The moments when I have felt closest to other human beings are the moments where we have both taken off our masks and shared our hurts or our weaknesses without embarrassment or constraint.

Richard Rohr says “that in a whole lifetime spent with seekers of enlightenment, I have never once heard anyone speak in hushed tones about the value of endarkenment.”

But soul darkening has value. The endarkenment of our souls creates an opportunity to rely on God and to connect with others, to text, write, call and pray for them.

This is what it means to be human. It means to be happy and sad, full and empty, to be at peace and anxious along with the rest of our world.

Weep with those who weep,” command Paul.

Romans 12:15

If you have any of the dark emotions during this time of social distancing, don’t deny those. Sit with them. Learn from them. I speak to you in hushed tones, the hushed and healing tones of tender honesty, compassionate transparency, reciprocal disclosure, unguarded openness and loving candor.

It’s okay to have dark moments. Don’t be embarrassed. We all have them. Your feelings will come and go, but your empathy — practice that and it will come and stay.

Comments
  1. Beth Eldridge says:

    Great advice!

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