You are not alone.

You are not alone. This will pass. Hold on.

Please take a moment to watch Father Ray Kelly sing Everybody Hurts and remember that we need to reach out to each other. We are each other’s comfort and hope.

Lyrics

When your day is long
And the night
The night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life
Well hang on
Don’t let yourself go
‘Cause everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong
Now it’s time to sing along
When your day is night alone (hold on)
(Hold on) if you feel like letting go (hold on)
If you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
Well, hang on

Cause everybody hurts
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts
Don’t throw your hand
Oh, no
Don’t throw your hand
If you feel like you’re alone
No, no, no, you’re not alone

If you’re on your own
In this life
The days and nights are long
When you think you’ve had too much
Of this life
To hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody cries
And everybody hurts sometimes
And everybody hurts sometimes
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on

Everybody hurts. You are not alone

Songwriters: Bill Berry / Michael Stipe / Peter Buck / Michael MillsEverybody Hurts lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

Doing the right thing.

Doing the right thing, the kind thing, the compassionate thing is an act of faith. You may never see the results of your action. You may never know that your courage in doing the right thing inspired someone else who, without that example, may have chosen the expedient thing, or the self-serving thing, or the popular thing. You may never know that the kind words you said gave someone an affirmation they desperately needed. You may never know that your kind thing spread exponentially outward into a billion kind things. You may feel that doing the right thing cost you somehow or was foolish or self-destructive. But you know it is the right thing, so you do it because you have faith that it will make a difference.

Those seeds of kindness that you sow take on a life of their own. They couple with other kind things and spread, though that may be largely invisible to you. Take heart from this video of a seed sprouting. Have faith that what you do makes a difference.

And remember, as stated by Cynthia Occe, “For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out, and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

Singing in the darkness.

Amid a country-wide quarantine in Italy, a beautiful voice sings out into the empty streets, only to be joined by more voices, until their chorus warms the entire world. Enjoy this reminder that, even as we struggle. we belong to each other.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/coronavirus-italy-siena-song-canto-della-verbena-video-lockdown-a9399176.html

Stand where the light is shining.

Sometimes, when we feel down, we need to evaluate the input coming into our lives. Are we steeped in negativity? Maybe not just news, but the vitriol that follows it in the comments? The political back and forth can get ugly and pull us down. And then we can think about the friends we surround ourselves with. Are they upbeat, trying to make things better, or always complaining?

And, while we don’t want to retreat from fighting the good fight or the friends who are going through a rough patch, it’s so easy for people to tear things down, to find the flaws, to make a conflict, and, when we are around that kind of energy constantly, we can feel beaten down.

But, there is good news to be had, and there are positive people and opportunities to be found. Sometimes we need to focus our attention there, if only for a break from the storm.

Sometimes you just have to laugh.

There is a reason laughter is good for your soul. You are lifted up out of the ordinary and serious and transported to a place of mirth and merriment. A happy place. A kinder gentler place.

This little video had me laughing out loud. Perhaps you need to watch and take a mini vacation, too.

Awe inspires.

When we lose our way or feel overwhelmed, we can return to nature and be renewed. Hear the birds singing their spring song. Watch them collect twigs and bits for their nests. See the long grass ripple in a gentle wind like ocean waves. Breathe in the sweet earthy fragrance of the morning. Feel small and surrounded by an amazing, complicated system that has been pulsating with life for millions of years. That awe is good for us:

“It has long been established that a healthy diet and lots of sleep and exercise bolster the body’s defenses against physical and mental illnesses. But the new study, whose findings were just published in the journal Emotion, is one of the first to look at the role of positive emotions in that arsenal.

“That awe, wonder, and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests that the things we do to experience these emotions—a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art—has a direct influence upon health and life expectancy,” says UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner, a coauthor of the study.”

Breathe in the day, full of life and possibility. Breathe out the stress, the worry, the defeat. In. Out. In. Out. In.

What are you after?

What is it we’re after anyway? What’s the point of it all? Is it the snapshot moment, or the joy it is trying to depict? Is it the fishing, or the sense of communing with nature, being part of something larger than ourselves? In our Instagram culture, we may lose sight of the forest for the trees. We may get so good at putting on the appearance, we lose sight of the reality.

Soul sharing

We were made to create. To shine. To share all the things that make us happy and bring us joy. Even, for that matter, the things that hurt and keep us up. Creativity allows our souls to sneak out of the shadows in our inner selves and dance with other brave souls. Creativity gives us the opportunity to touch others deep down where their real selves dwell. To commune. And that’s a very cool thing.

Cultivating gratitude

In this beautiful film set to the words of Brother David Steindhl-Rast, you can’t help but see much of what makes life good and affirming. What if we learn to appreciate each day as if it is our first day…and our last? What if we appreciate each miracle as it presents itself to us throughout the day…the miracle of sight, of running water, of food, of laughter? What then?