Last week, I spent five days with some friends doing a silent meditation retreat. Held at a serene monastery, it provided my heart with ample space to open, my body room to hike into the hills, and my soul a place to rest.
I feel the news. Like some who are wired for compassion, it comes naturally to feel things as much as to understand them. What I didn’t realize—until I shut down the devices for almost a week—is how taxing it is to hold it all.
Up at the top of the hill, looking down on a distant and sunlit green valley, I remembered that the suffering our country causes to its own people is not mine to carry. The strain of resisting an administration bent on its selfish, self-serving agenda isn’t mine to bear.
I sat on the roots of an old fir tree in tearful relief, remembering that the only thing I can do is my own part. To use my own voice. And then, surrender the rest to the Earth, to the Divine, whatever name we call the Love that is so much bigger than we are.
None of what we seek can be found in the panicked, frantic whack-a-mole game this administration seems to demand. I say ‘seems’ because it is an act of profound self-care (and a rather effective activism strategy) to choose your issues and do everything you can—but only what you can—to support their resolution. Then surrender in trust that others are doing the work we cannot.
It is vital to seek being emotionally-grounded and clear-hearted enough not to get sucked into the drama.
Make of this sharing what you will. I had days of silence before I understood all of this, and I’m sure to forget before long. But I wanted to share what I found while I was away:
- How important it is to trust that something bigger can hold it all
- A profound certainty that we are beloved beyond measure
- An understanding that your well-being matters deeply—both for yourself and for every life you touch
Thank you for being a part of this work. It takes heart to keep at it, but it is so, so worth it.
P.S. If you happen to have a monastic retreat center near you, go. No matter what your faith background, such hospitality, welcome, and peace await there.