“Life has detours And along the detours I have met wondrous friends, Unanticipated experiences. The breaking of the heart along the way has brought a healing and I am the combination of the wound and the healing.” Omid Safi, “Fail Better”, On Being “I am a combination of the wound and the healing.” Maybe this should be our motto or phrase for the year.
The idea of holding space for the wound and the healing at the same time fascinates me. Even when one part of our Earth is at its coldest, darkest point of the night, another place is warm and basking in beautiful light. These things are happening at the same time and it's okay.
I have spent the last twelve months trying to hold space and appreciation for those who have had a different experience to my own — those who have been ill, who have lost the person they were closest to, who felt abandoned or isolated — without feeling guilty for living in a place where the toll of the pandemic has been less impactful.
My employment situation changed suddenly as public events shut down and I know that for some people losing their jobs has been terrifying, where for me it has been liberating. I sometimes resist from saying that publicly, as if celebrating how I have benefited in this time is disrespectful to those whose experience has been different.
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges of practising empathy is learning to be okay with the dichotomy. That we can carry a wound and be healing at the same time, as can our friends, colleagues and our communities.
Thanks so much for sharing this thought and for offering a space for my reflections. ❤️