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We are each other's medicine



What is this thing, this ache, that we all carry? What is this deep sense of loneliness and lovelessness and disconnection and isolation in our culture? I suppose it is the pervasiveness of lovelessness in our society that bell hooks writes about in All About Love. It is so pervasive that Dr. Vivek Murthy describes the impacts of loneliness and isolation as a health epidemic in his book, Together. Both write about love and human connection as the antidote. Love is the only thing that is greater than the ills of this world and the fear we are all experiencing now. We all cite it as the answer. We write songs and sing about it, but how do we practice it? How do we even know what it looks like to practice it in our daily lives? 


hooks writes, “we must face the confusion and disappointment that much of what 

we were taught about the nature of love makes no sense when applied to everyday 

life. Contemplate[ing] the practice of love in everyday life, think[ing] about how we 

love and what is needed for ours to become a culture where love’s sacred presence 

can be felt everywhere ....”  


We each carry the medicine we collectively need. We need only to  intentionally practice being in support of each other rather than turning away from each other.  Naming rather than denying this ache we are all carrying – the ache deep within our core that allows for, even encourages and instigates, a sense of hurriedness and rushing about, keeping us pushing towards something that is only found in connection with ourselves, with the Earth, with each other, with the truth of who we are, our essence, our purpose, our desires, and our love.


In my research and study of the brain, the process of how our synapses all fire together invited me to think about us as one large organism that can wire together and fire together and produce beautiful and healthy outcomes. When we are imbalanced, everything is off, just as in the individual body, so too in the collective body. We are one. One body, human body, soul body. 


What then is the medicine we need to help with this? What does it look like to practice, to be in the dance with each other, to be intentional, and to honor the inherent dignity in every human being? Could we start with something as simple as a nod, a smile, being authentic in our conversations, taking a moment to say hello to people we pass at the beach or in the grocery store. A smile, a nod changes things, at least it does for me. It helps me feel less alone and somehow connected. The truth is we are. We are all connected. 


What medicine do I have to offer? I could start by first taking inventory of what I need, knowing where my ache is, and considering what that medicine could be. And then could I offer to others some of the things that would be medicine for me. Can I offer a smile, a hello? Can I be intentional about looking up and noticing other people and life around me? Can I choose to set aside time in my day to intentionally engage in loving ways with other human beings? Can I offer a listening ear, share an authentic story of struggle or celebration? Can I offer $5? Gardening? A walk? What unique medicine do I carry to give the world?


If you feel resonance to these words and these questions, join us for a virtual community gathering on July 11, 2024 7:00 pm EST where we will begin this sacred inquiry together. Register at tinyurl.com/weareeachothersmedicine.

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