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Planted not Buried

Planted not Buried

Inspired by the words of Christine Caine

"What would you do if you were in my shoes?"

The power of empathy is, for me, undeniable. To use my mental capacity and imagine myself in another person's situation, looking at the world from that person's perspective and understanding why they make the choices they do is an important thing to practice before judging someone else's actions as right or wrong.

More often than not, I find myself withholding judgment entirely, and instead of feeling righteous anger, I end up feeling only deep sadness. Because it's true, there is no telling what I would be capable of if I'd been born into the same circumstances, grown up learning the same history, experiencing the same pain and frustration, and receiving the same conditioning of narratives. I would very likely do the same thing, things that I claim to abhor, which is why I think it's so important that we be each other's shepherds in times of darkness.

When I feel troubled and alone, when I feel wronged, when I feel the burning need to release my anger and hurt someone because I feel trapped and cornered into a fight for my survival, what is the right course of action?

I personally think that those are the precise moments that I hope those who love me and have my spiritual well-being in their hearts, help me question and explore and see my way through the pain. I hope they speak to me with gentleness and compassion. I hope they help me feel less alone in my grief and desperation. I hope they become my eyes when I'm blinded by rage. I hope they become my heart when it feels like I have no more compassion left. I hope they direct my racing thoughts to a place of curiosity and exploration. I hope they tell me when I've done wrong, because I don't know if I could trust myself in this very human state of despair to know the difference.

Times of darkness are hard only because I'm ill-equipped to handle whatever it is I'm going through. Why should I expect to know what I'm doing? Why should I persist in a course of action if the way isn't clear? What's wrong with saying, "I'm feeling alone and lost. Help me." Can I listen to someone I trust to give me a point of reference?

"If this ever happened to me..." I don't know what I would do. I hope I would keep myself safe from harm, yes -- and I also hope I would trust those who would keep me safe from my own darkness, so that instead of feeling buried, I felt planted, nurtured, and supported for growth instead.

May we all have this kind of support, may we be shepherds for one another.

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