I am feeling a heaviness about the coming of 2022. The same kind of heaviness I have felt the last two new years, and it feels old and tiring.
I am thinking about COVID rearing its head again in several countries, the disparity of vaccinations that are available for our worldwide people, global warming, the alarming number of displaced people in our world, and the growing number of everyday violence I hear about on airplanes and within communities… and I feel overwhelmed and deeply sad.
It is a deep and broad mourning that is mixed with anger and a desire for relief and warmth and softness. As I write this, tears are emerging and my cheeks are wet. Simultaneously, my wife is sitting in my office chair, doing something on her phone with our cat Maddie on her lap. Maddie is purring loudly. Her world is bliss. Kim’s world is bliss too – in this particular moment.
In many ways, my world is bliss as well:
- We are just back from a trip to visit our kids and our 5-month old grandson, River;
- After moving 5 times in the past 8 years, we are in a stable, long-term home with like-minded neighbors;
- Our families have been mostly safe from COVID;
- We have good quality running water and a bed to sleep in every night; and…
- We both love our work, family and friends.
That’s a lot to be grateful for.
And yet, I cannot seem to get past my deep sadness, so I have decided to dive into it, full on, without regret or judgment. To acknowledge that I can be grateful and deeply sad and scared at the same time.
I’m thinking of a line I heard Marshall Rosenberg say which was something like (sadly, I don’t remember the exact quote): My need for food cannot be fully met if someone is hungry. He was speaking about the ways in which our needs are interwoven, and that our goal is to value all needs equally.
So, as I dip my toe into 2022, I want to focus on and remember to bring the very qualities I long for in our world to my family and communities – tolerance, compassion, openness, and nurturing – because I know if I do this, I will be injecting these qualities into the world and into myself as well. As His Holiness the Dali Lama said, “Wherever I go meeting the public… spreading a message of human values, spreading a message of harmony, is the most important thing.”
On this January 1, 2022, I send you love, compassion, peace, tolerance and nurturing. I feel blessed to be in community with you. May you and those you love be healthy and safe.