Excerpted from Thich Nhat Hanh's Together We Are One
Before I internalized this passage, I found my energies waning as I worked into the night or woke early in the morning to carry out the many tasks I had collected on my way to solving the problems of the world I could find to reverse. Motivated by pain, by judging others as bullies and barriers to the success of our most vulnerable children and communities, I was swimming in the ocean of blame and purpose. My purpose was to swim against the tides, and to pick myself back up when I washed upon the shore, reach down and pick up the starfish washed up next to me, gently tossing them back into the water before I jumped back in myself. This is an exhausting life, to stake my happiness and my purpose on changing institutions, on changing others.
I find this practice goes against everything that I know to be true about who I have been, the conscious warrior identity I cloaked myself in for the past 25 years, but I’m ready to take off the battle armor and put down my fighting weapons. I want to walk in peace. I want to breath with ease. I want to invite joy into every moment that I have the pleasure to breath. I want to forgive the world its suffering and see myself as fully worthy of my own self-compassion. I am curious about this journey Thich Nhat Hanh speaks of, this journey toward one’s true home.