I stopped writing for quite awhile after the 2016 election. When I finally began again, I admitted I had been Speechless in my anger, frustration and discouragement. I held my tongue, resisting the temptation to heap up mountains of indignant words while my heart was so raw.
It took awhile for me to find my voice again, to find enough balance to trust myself to speak in the public sphere. There are more than enough authors of outrage these days; I want my voice to be one of hope.
To this day, I mostly avoid listening to the voices of rage; instead I seek out other writers who hold onto hope so that I can learn from their wisdom and patience. These authors of hope are still often heartbroken, angry and frustrated but instead of giving into discouragement, they are finding ways to transform negatives into positives. They are living courage during this challenging time.
Parker Palmer is one of my favorite mentors of hope. His gentle honesty written in his On Being blogs encourages me; he models bold, outspoken integrity without any vicious hyperbole.
Recently I went back to his book, Healing the Heart of Democracy; it is helping me sort through my own (still) confused thinking and feeling about the state of our nation.
“Heart” for Palmer is that part of us humans that “integrates the intellect with the rest of our faculties, such as emotion, imagination, and intuition.” When he considers the “heart of democracy,” he ponders how we together as a society might find again our common purpose with reason and imagination.
Palmer sees a tragic heart-brokenness within all types of people these days. The ugliness and indignities, the divides and distortions, the breaks and barriers to personal, communal and political relationships all reveal a pervasive brokenness. Palmer says:
Continue reading The Healing Power of a Broken Heart: Healing the Heart of Democracy
When the heart is brittle and shatters, it can scatter the seeds of violence and multiply our suffering among others…