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Natural Awakenings Boston

Compassion During Disruption and Difficult Conversations

Maisie Raftery

While I’ve always felt sad to see summer end, I have to acknowledge that there’s something special about the crisp clarity of September air that feels deeply refreshing. In retrospect, I recall that in my early school days, I lamented what I believed was the impending doom of being cooped up in classrooms for 9 months before once again experiencing the freedom of summer. Thankfully, those feelings of back-to-school dread, which I suspect we’ve all experienced this time of the year, from early childhood through our young adult years, are long gone. Today, it feels wonderful to simply be able to enjoy the feeling of the crisp, cool air that heralds our coming fall. 

With all of the unrest and uncertainty that we are collectively experiencing, this September feels less refreshing than usual. Undeniably, we now find ourselves in perhaps the most challenging of times that most of us have ever experienced. In spite of this, I am still more hopeful for our future now than I’ve ever been.

In The Power of Choice: Chaos Makes Room for the New, author Kristi Borst provides a wonderful perspective on how disruption in our lives and in our world can bring healing effects when we look at the disruption through a heart  of self-compassion, compassion for others and an understanding that it may be necessary for growth.

One way I’ve been practicing compassion for others is by opening the door for and even inviting uncomfortable conversations with friends and family who have opinions that differ from my own. Lately, there’s a yearning inside me that truly wants to understand where others are coming from rather than remaining silent or imposing my opinion upon them. While I’m not quite sure where this is coming from, I’m grateful for the opportunities it has given me to deepen connections and expand my mind even when we politely and lovingly agree to disagree.

My wish is for ease and grace and for all to find inner and outer peace as we continue to navigate this thing called life, together.

With warm regards,