AND live our humanity every day

April 6th, 2014

Two Boston firefighters were laid to rest this past week, killed in the line of duty. Firefighters came from around the world and lined the streets to honor the fallen. There were thousands gathered in a brotherhood that did not need to know the surviving family members of the fallen firefighters. They clearly stated, when interviewed, that they wanted to honor their brothers and support the families.

In times of loss or crisis, we stop or are otherwise forced to stop the daily minutia to connect with what is real. Love is real. Compassion is real. Connection with the lives of others is real.

In times of loss or crisis, the old unconscious patterns of life and pace of events are disrupted. We drop everything and tend to what has become impossible to escape. Whether the loss of a job, departure of a loved one, or tsunami, the stories that we have been telling ourselves about what is important, how the world works, and who we are in it are changed. A sense of fragility appears, the awareness that the way we thought our lives would unfold, how things are “supposed to” work, or any sense that we control the events in our lives evaporates.

While the stories we tell ourselves about who we are in the world and how our lives will unfold are fragile, we are not. People who have been through loss and crisis more often than not go on with the help of others to find new strength and recreate their lives. This human resilience is at the core of our being. There are many remarkable stories of people overcoming great odds and challenges.

Whether big or small, whatever causes us to awaken from a world of illusion that we create from stories we have made up about the world, other people, and ourselves, that awakening connects us with our hearts and each other. That is what reminds us what is really important. That is what reminds us to live each moment of each day being the best version of ourselves we can be. That is what teaches us to see the light in one another, rather than judgments or old labels we place on ourselves and other people.

We do not control what happens in life. We do have control over how we respond. How might we respond from with compassion, generosity, and love to what is real every day without needing a crisis or major loss to wake us up?

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