I don’t want to reach for your heart like the way Donald Trump reaches for your hand – he clasps you and aggressively pulls you towards him, like a bully who wants to dominate. No, I want to reach for your heart gently, kindly, warmly and lovingly.
Why do people reach out so generously to others? What compels them to act in such a way? The following words connected to St. Ignatius Loyola come to mind: “To give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for reward”.
Spreading good news
I reached out to those with mental illness through my radio interview on Dublin City FM, where I spoke of getting through the downsides of bipolar. I told the interviewer: “When I started to love bipolar, I started to love my life. And there’s great hope for people with mental illness because you can be even stronger than you ever were before”. My family said: “the interview was real, the mindfulness tips were great, and it was helpful for everyone”. And I was delighted to hear that my friend got a lot of tips from it too. I guess these responses show that I reached out to the heart of others. It’s great to spread good news on the journey of recovery!
I reached out to my family dog Max this week: I brought him for walks, scratched his belly, and made a video of him for my brother who lives abroad.
Gift of presence
I met up with a group this week where it was a privilege to listen to others’ vulnerabilities. I maintained eye contact, asked questions, and gave my gift of presence. There were even moments when I lost track of time. Afterwards, I carried them in my heart – those who were present and those who were absent.
I have struggled with friendships lately, friendships that drain and pollute my soul. Surely I don’t have to torture myself with negativity and poison. Am I supposed to be friends with everyone? Am I supposed to reach out to every heart? At times, it is clear that I need to protect myself. It is also clear that I need to nourish my own heart with goodness and compassion. And so I find reconciliation by respecting these people, wishing them well, letting go and moving on to a life of more light and love.