“No beauty shines brighter than that of a good heart”.
This photograph uplifts me in a way I find difficult to express, shivery in a soft and beautiful way.
It exudes tenderness, warmth, compassion and love. Aren’t these emotions the crux of our humanity?
And then… I turn on the radio and listen to the ‘News’ and want to shoot myself! The more I teach yoga, the more vulnerable and exposed I feel. But I also realise that an open heart leads to greater pleasure and joy and therefore greater pain and sorrow. One cannot have one without the other. Pleasure and pain are inextricably entwined.
Thanks to the media we are constantly exposed to heartache. Heartache over things that we cannot control, help or even identify with. Do I need to be exposed to every murder, flood, landslide, car accident, bashing, bully, terrorist, fire, bombing and shooting?
Could I not just look at the tender side of life?
Perhaps not always… but much of the time?
Recently I listened to an interview with the Australian actor Samuel Johnson. Sam, with his foibles and gut-wrenching honesty is what I would consider to be a wonderful brother! Lost his mother to suicide; the love of his life also to suicide; and his sanity temporarily to drugs. But always by his sister’s side and she by his. He created ‘Love Your Sister’ charity to help raise funds, as he put it, to annihilate the indiscriminate venom of cancer. Something which his sister Connie had been fighting for 23 years. And sadly Connie lost her battle with aggressive breast cancer only a few weeks ago. Sam does something to fight back. In his own interminable manner, he attacks that which hurts him most, but with great zest and tenderness.
Is that perhaps one way of recognising our purpose? By fighting back for something we believe in so deeply?
Is that what we all need to do? Brandish the sword of justice in some personal way? Whether it be to donate our pennies, our time or our organs; to support a cause; walk for peace; offer a helping hand; smile at a passer-by or to offer our service for no apparent reason. Imagine if we could toss the coin of harshness in the air and each time it landed, it landed on an about-face – the face of ‘tenderness’. That means we have to tear open our hearts, be prepared to hurt, give exponentially, let go of having so much, give more than we thought, and be courageous! All of us can display narcissistic traits, but all of us can also be empathetic.
We need to look at the gentle side of life….seek the beautiful stories….mix with sensitive beings…….cut off from that which we cannot cure, help what and when we can. Do something no matter how small or seemingly insignificant.
Don’t you think?
Every kind action will manifest a karmic ally somewhere, somehow, even if we never recognise it’s unfolding.
Let’s face it…..the tender side is always more digestible!
…as I keep reminding myself.
x Annemaree x
P.S. This photo found its way to me. I am not sure how or when. I have pasted it on my wall in the room where I am writing this and I frequently just sit and look at it. I honour the person who captured this moment. Thank you. Thank you.