Susan Naomi Bernstein is a writer and educator living in Queens, NY. Her blog is called: “Beyond the Basics” (for Bedford Bits)
When we act from the Divine Feminine, we act with the courage of our convictions. At the same time, we understand that such action is neither easy nor automatic. Our convictions, if not held in the light of loving kindness, may become roadblocks in our paths to creating positive social transformation. To remove such roadblocks, we must lend ourselves enough compassion to scrutinize our deepest convictions, allowing ourselves enough courage and resilience to grow stronger in the midst of impossible challenges.
After Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, I felt at first overwhelmed by such challenges. Where does one begin to act in the midst of catastrophic crisis? What happens when the assumptions that shaped our world on Sunday afternoon are literally swept away by Tuesday night? How can we offer comfort to another when we can barely find the energy to comfort ourselves? Why do our emotions seem to betray us through our bodies, with alternating sensations of fear and numbness stirring our blood and stilling our bones? These questions move my thoughts beyond simple responses. In that silence, I clasp my hands in prayer position and hold the joined hands close to my heart.
Indeed the hurricane has reconfigured the very landscape of my heart. In the wake of the storm, I have needed to learn a new internal geography, to discover and rediscover the meaning of resilience in times of great sorrow and loss. Yet this time of internal exploration has not meant a retreat from the struggles of the material world. Instead—in those moments when I experience greatest uncertainty, I feel compelled to act, to regain the presence of the moment in the service of mutual aid. Whether chopping onions for Occupy Sandy or sorting donations in a church basement, I do my best to focus on the work before me.
Chopping onions causes me to weep and sorting donations allows my heart to grow full. Such actions, as small as they seem in the scheme of natural disaster, offer courage to confront the roadblocks, or at least to find an alternate path for reshaping my convictions to sidestep bitterness and to create resilience. Joy comes when connecting those convictions with community. When we act together in such moments, we become a ripple in the tidal wave of history, buoyed forward by the strength of the Divine Feminine.