Just got finished reading an interview with John Records, who heads up an organization called Comittee on the Shelterless, or COTS. It's an organization that provides shelter and rehabilitation services for the homeless (including yoga, meditation and energy work) in Petaluma, California, and the following has stuck with me all morning:
"I bring my own shortcomings and challenges to this work, some of which are rooted in my early life and losses. But to the extent that I've offered my being, my hands, my body, and my mind in service, that largely displaces fretful feelings. Last week I was working with a guy who's an abuse survivor and is seriously ill. He was about to undergo another round of medical treatment, and I said to him, "I don't know how long you're going to live, but I know you're going to be OK." That perspective echoes through all of this: we're all going to be OK.
In the book How Can I Help? Ram Dass talks about looking at someone who's dying from AIDS and thinking, This person is doing interesting work. That's true for everyone: were all doing the work of our lives. Homeless people are doing their work. COTS staff are doing their work. I'm doing my work. We're all works in progress, learning the hard way how to be more comfortable and happy, on a planet for slow learners."