It is with a very heavy heart that I write today. I normally avoid all discussion of politics, but for someone who spent nearly a decade living in St. Petersburg, Russia and who counts Ukrainians as some of her closest friends, I am saddened by the events unfolding in Ukraine.
Let’s not sugarcoat it; it’s not an event. It’s a full-scale invasion of one sovereign nations by another sovereign nation.
So to write about care, care for oneself, care for another initially felt trivial. But maybe that is just what we need.
When we usually think about care, we think about fixing a problem. When a child slips and scrapes their knee, we rush in with band aides and antibiotic ointment. When a friend calls in tears because her deadbeat boyfriend just broke up with her, we want to yank her out of her delusional belief that this guy is worthy of her love and affection.
But maybe that kind of care is having the unintended effect. Maybe the scrapes and wounds and breakups and job losses and moves are invitations to go deeper, to inquire and ask, what is life asking of me?
As writer and psychologist Thomas Moore has written, life is a series of initiations. Trial and error. Trying and failing. Loving and losing. Trying and succeeding. Loving and keeping.
So maybe caring for another and caring for ourselves could focus more on holding the space, holding the pain, encouraging the questions, allowing the soul to blossom and grow. This is a very different kind of care. It doesn’t seek to fix. It seeks to see. And love. And honor the whole of the human experience.
And my human experience today, in the midst of the disruption of packing up my life to move to Israel, is sadness and fear for my friends in Ukraine, and prayers for Europe, and hope—dare I say—for an early end to this.