Hawaii is one of my favorite places on this planet and each time I come back to the Mauna Kea I fall in love with it all over again. It is such a peaceful and magical place offering a sanctuary of sorts in the midst of what can be a very chaotic and sometimes broken world. This trip is no different and I find myself in awe of my surroundings and the endless beauty that stretches for miles as I write this post. I am grateful and I am blessed.
Yesterday, I had the honor of listening to a speaker named Gregory Boyle and there were many tears and a standing ovation when he was finished. Greg Boyle is the Founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angelos and I was struck by the irony of the deep and painful suffering he witnesses every day and the peaceful, safe haven that served as host for his poignant talk. The message he so gracefully shared left me with both laughter and tears and of course feeling that all too familiar drive of desperately wanting to make a difference.
Tossing and turning at 4:30 this morning questioning my life’s purpose led me to our patio and the opportunity to sit in peace engulfed in the dark. All was silent but the steady rythem of the crashing waves and the constant buzz in my brain. As I sat and watched the dark skies of Kona riddled with hundreds of brilliant stars fade to light and streaks of pink I could not stop thinking about Greg’s talk and the many lessons he shared.
He spoke of kinship and the common theme of how full each of our lives could be if we could discover the pure joy in loving others and in being loved unconditionally. Of course, this is not always an easy thing to do and life is often times stained with the harsh reality of pain, suffering, anger and loss. We live in a society that sometimes thrives on judging others and is drowning in shame. I have always believed that there is great wisdom in our wounds but as Greg mentioned,“ people struggle to face their own wounds and if we cannot welcome our own wounds how can we help the wounded?”
There are so many broken people in this world and if we are all honest, we each have some type of baggage to carry. If we could all open our hearts and start to be more aware of and honest towards our own wounds could it not be a direct path to finding even the smallest of ways to making a difference healing the wounds of others? One of the things that struck me the most was how amazing it would be if more people could stand in awe of all that others have had to carry instead of in judgement of how they carried it. This is so simple and so true. Judgement stands in the way of helping others ALL the time and if we could remember that it is impossible to truly know or understand what another has been through or must carry without walking in their shoes it would be much easier to embrace them and walk beside them offering a small slice of hope.
Everyone needs hope. A lack of hope leads to nothing and how do we move forward and rebuild if there is no hope? As I sat in the peace and calm solitude of the morning, I could not help but think about all of the missed opportunities we all encounter throughout our daily lives. There are endless opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others; to help another once again find hope. No, it does not have to be an epic huge movement or founding something like Homeboy Industries. An opportunity can be as simple as giving someone a hug, sharing a smile, saying I love you or just being truly present and listening when someone in pain needs to talk. Compassion is one of the most powerful gifts one can give and I have to believe we are all more than capable of sharing our hearts and finding compassion for another when needed.
This is a topic that I could write on for hours and I’m sure I will write about this again but for today and as I feel so blessed to be in my slice of heaven for one more day, I want to leave you with this…open up your hearts, find joy in loving others and in loving unconditionally, offer hope, let go of judgement and find compassion. You never know when you are going to lose hope and need someone, anyone to give you the same.
P.S. If you want to read an amazing book with a powerful message, check out Greg Boyle’s book “Tattoos on the Heart”.