I’m at a loss for words.

Monday October 2nd we woke up to news of the horrible shooting in Las Vegas. Monday October 9th we woke up to smoke in the air across the San Francisco Bay Area and much of California. I’m writing this on Friday the 13th and find myself wondering, “What will we wake up to next Monday?”

Many people have lost their homes. Some have lost their lives. At a minimum, people have lost sleep and a week of “normal life” while packing their most precious belongings into a car – ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

I don’t know what to write.

I don’t know what to say.

I feel myself searching for something meaningful. I want to make sense out of all of this – for myself as much as for you.

We try to put labels and categories around things. Last year, after beloved celebrities passed away within weeks of each other, many declared 2016 a “horrible year” on Social Media – as if blaming the year could put an end to the pain!

No matter how hard we try, pain can’t be put in a box.

I can’t imagine what it’s like to be my friends in the fire zone right now.

(I’m a pretty imaginative person. Maybe I don’t want to fully imagine what it’s like to be my friends. Then I would have to feel their pain in addition to my own pain for them.)

I want to do something. I want to help. While I can donate money, blood, or a couch to sleep on, those thing somehow don’t feel like enough.

I am powerless.

They are powerless.

We are all powerless.

(Mother nature is not powerless. She’s showing us that right now.)

What can we do?

We can focus on sending good energy, love, warmth, empathy and compassion their way. We can energetically hug them. If we see them in person, we can physically hug them, and (perhaps most importantly) we can hold space for and witness people who are in pain.

Being deeply present with suffering (our own or someone else’s) may not be easy – and it’s perhaps the greatest gift we can give.

With compassion & love,