I have a friend going through a tough time right now. Her husband is an alcoholic, and she’s pretty worn down. She’s in a lot of pain, and apologizing to her friends for sharing that pain. Here’s what I said, and it occurred to me that someone else might need to be reminded of it. In each of our lives there are storms. Pain. Sadness. Loss. It’s a part of life. As I was thinking about what words of comfort I could offer my friend, Bob Dylan’s song “Shelter From the Storm” came to me. We can’t protect each other from life. Each of us has our own road, our own lessons. People we love will pass over. Beloved pets, as well. Life offers us both the bitter and the sweet. What matters the most to me is compassion. Being a safe haven for the people I love, in that dark moment, just as others have been that safe haven for me.
The lyrics to the song are so beautiful, as Dylan’s lyrics often are. “Come in, she said. I’ll give you shelter from the storm.” May we each find shelter when we need it most. And may we be generous in our hearts whenever we see that shelter is needed by someone else. Sometimes, all it takes is being a good listener, a Sacred Witness to someone’s process. Shelter doesn’t mean we “fix it” for someone. We can’t.
Shelter is always found in the Heart. The Heart is the Fire Element in Chinese Medicine. Compassion. Inspiration. Love. What better Element to offer someone coming in from the cold and dark, than a warm place to rest for a bit?
My path of Heart is to be a living Lighthouse for all who need one. We can all be that beacon of light. Of kindness. Compassion. And offer shelter from the storm. I give thanks to those that have been that for me.
Blessings, Judith Star-Medicine