But how, you may ask.

Amidst the overwhelming suffering and the profound bewilderment at how humans can inflict such pain on one another, life still demands to be lived.

Yet, the weight of grief, disbelief, profound desperation, anger, and fear can be overwhelming, etching their presence in your heart.

In moments like these, it’s all too tempting to shut off the news and feign detachment, convincing yourself that these troubles are distant and that such is life, prompting you to simply carry on.

It might be necessary at times, but hardening your heart can never be a helpful solution in the long run.

I say this because that form of protection is an illusion. It doesn’t protect you at all, because when you close your heart for the suffering, you also close it for the beauty and love. Your heart doesn’t work like a sieve. It either takes it all in, or shuts it all out.

So how can you soften your heart and still have the capacity to bear witness to the suffering around you, without being overcome by the darkness?

Here are a couple of ideas that can help you cultivate inner balance, without blocking out the reality of how things are:

1. Allow yourself to welcome grief wholeheartedly, with compassion, and all the love and care you’d give to an open wound. You’ll recall the reality of common humanity, that suffering is part of life, and that you’re not alone in this.

2. Embrace the full spectrum of life’s experiences. Look beyond the shadows, the darkness, and the fear, and you’ll discover glimpses of beauty and kindness.

It’s in those moments where friends embrace in comforting hugs, where a street cat is being fed by a passer-by, where a tree is being saved from being cut down, a new baby is born, or a butterfly sits on your hand. These pockets of compassion and beauty exist all around you, make sure they don’t go unnoticed.

3. Keep pursuing your passions, those activities that ignite your soul. In a world filled with chaos and uncertainty, immersing yourself in drawing, music, movement, or any form of self-expression can be an act of self-care and preservation.

You’re not being selfish for savoring life’s pleasures, even amidst the challenges and suffering that may surround you. In fact, by nurturing your own joy, you can become a source of inspiration and positivity, helping to uplift those around you who are facing difficult times.

4. Connect with nature, feel the solid ground beneath your feet, lean against a strong trunk of an oak tree, and be receptive to the messages that nature is offering you. It holds you safely, cradling the suffering without denying the beauty of life.  Rest assured that things change, they have for as long as the world exists, and that this moment, too, shall transition into the past.

There is no right or wrong way to tend to your pain. In this crazy world, you may discover that your capacity for keeping it together and compassion know no bounds. By nurturing your inner peace and staying attuned to the world’s realities, you become a source of light and hope in the face of adversity, inspiring others to embrace the fullness of life.

Don’t join the outside chaos, cultivate inner peace and let your tranquility radiate, spreading calm in a turbulent world.

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