As a Libra, I believe I have strong tendencies towards finding and creating balance, in all things. Especially in meanings and patterns. Right now, I can see the balance going on between our family and others close to ours. Quite a few people are suffering through difficult times. It is hard to see those we love and care for be faced with some really heart-wrenching situations. This is not their blog, so I won't go into specifics. Imagining myself in their shoes, wondering how it feels, what it means, is part of my nature.
I've come to believe that in tough situations, there are many opportunities to define ourselves, to step up and assign meaning to our experiences. These days, I can see that instead of worrying, or dedicating time to feeling sad, my energies are much better used being a support, a listening ear, a tender hug, a long-distance sender of love.
The balance is that while things are going really well with my little family, while we enjoy our daily life and are all happy and healthy, we stand in a pretty good position to support those who aren't feeling so strong.
We can help those going through tough times a number of ways, and we do. Sending some of my kids' art in the mail, sitting down for long talks, checking in when they need to know someone is thinking of them. In our own home, in our own way, we can also honour their suffering by acknowledging our lack of suffering. Or, put into different words, by taking time to slow down and be thankful for what we have that others don't right now: happiness, health, comfort, predictability.
I think this can apply to our life in a more generalized, daily way. There will always be people suffering. When I read a disturbing news story that hits a nerve, or I learn of a family enduring hardship, I instinctively want to do something concrete. This isn't usually possible-- I can't send everyone a casserole. That doesn't mean I should turn that sadness inward. Or let it manifest as anger. Nobody needs my sadness. That is not a valuable contribution.
I can honour them, and their tough times, by doing more to notice small joys, beautiful little miracles, in my own existence. I can take more time to sit and pet my cat, all curled up on my favourite throw. I can make sure to stop and notice Hailey's crinkle-faced giggly grin, Robin's soulful eyes as she watches the birds at the feeder, Abby's shy grin as she presents a painting from school, Summer's gummy smile as she masters a new skill, Rich's careful watch over our barbecued dinner.
I can live with these constant reminders that it could all be gone in an instant, or changed. I could wake up with a much more challenging life tomorrow, in any number of ways. Today, I woke up to beauty all around me, waiting to be noticed.
The big picture holds a scale we are always balanced upon. Our family has also gone through difficult times, sadness, grief and big changes. We let ourselves feel what we needed to feel, and we let our family and friends lift us up. Now, it is our turn to be a support to others, and to let ourselves be happy and feel blessed in our days. We will suffer again, and we will have joyful days. At least, that's how I reconcile the sad things i see happening to people I love.
"The more I live, the more I know, what's simple is true."- Jewel