Any description of the past year feels like an understatement, and events of the past week are similarly beyond words.
I've been finding comfort in Pema Chodron's book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change. She writes:
The truth is that we're always in some kind of in-between state, always in process. We never fully arrive. When we're present with the dynamic quality of our lives, we're also present with impermanence, uncertainty, and change. If we can stay present, then we might finally get that there's no security or certainty in the objects of our pleasure or the objects of our pain, no security or certainty in winning or losing, in compliments or criticism, in good reputation or bad- no security or certainty in anything that's fleeting, that's subject to change.
When the outer world feels scary, I often habitually grasp onto something I feel I can control: work, chocolate, self criticism...
And yet, the only true security is accepting insecurity- change upon change upon change.
Of course, this interests me as a communicator. We never know what will happen when we get up to speak. We can practice consistently, analyze our audience and their needs, and clarify our message: all of this creates the conditions for the speech to go well. But the actual speech only happens once (even if you speak the same words another time). And to be effective, we have to jive with mood of our audience, the environment around us, our own internal feelings: like a crazy jam session.
But an awesome thing about a jam session is that you're never alone. When we're present, we can be carried by the moment: it's not all up to us. To speak is to collaborate with an audience, a space, and a message. And that kind of unity can heal ourselves, our audience, and maybe even our world.