I have listened to the emotional pain of women on countless occasions in four continents. I have come to believe many women have to bear much more than the emotional pain arising from tragic circumstances in this very life.
For hundreds of generations, women have had to suffer through war, conflict and violence. They have to endure the horror of such events. Mothers, especially, have to deal with the loss of their loved ones, such as husbands and children, as well as the hardships due to amputations, disfigurements and wounds. They have to nurse the physical/psychological traumas of survivors of savage events.
A crisis in the family – a death, an accident, a life threatening illness, a suicide or attempted suicide – can occur at any time. There is the urgency of the necessity of love and support for all who suffer going through an emotional/psychological crisis.
I believe many women carry much the burden of the weight of history. The desolation and tears of the woman seem rarely confined to the specific tragedy at hand but, I believe, expresses the emotional pain of women going back into the far reaches of time.
Such women carry in their very DNA the long, long history of countless loved ones who have suffered through the nightmares of our vulnerable existence. It requires a steadfast patience with the process of change to accommodate any dramatic invasion of the sensitivities of heart, mind and body.
Men, women and children need to remember to support each other in the times of great loss and great suffering to know the resolution of such pain, personal and historical.
It does not help to understand when a woman is told she is “too emotional.”
The weight of this suffering world descends heavily into the heart of the woman. It is a huge undertaking for her to endure the grief from loss, for example, of a child, a husband, father or brother. It is hard for anyone to address the circumstance when life robs a parent of what counts for them as the most precious gift of all – a son or a daughter.
The waves of despair, the memories and the sleeplessness travel through the dark nights of the inner life. There is very little that another can say to bring comfort to a loss of connection with the intimate pulse of conscious life that has expired. Yet, it remains a vital necessity for the grieving parent or partner to speak about these events, to give rise to theirvoice to relieve some of the accumulated pressure from the sorrow and lamentation.
The forces of life impact upon all sentient existence. Peace of heart and mind will come slowly, very gradually – like a person struggling to stay afloat in a stormy sea with only an occasional glimpse of land ahead revealed between the terrible force of the waves of sorrow.
A sudden bereavement or a lingering death never makes sense, never seems to come at the right time. It is the heaviest burden to accommodate.
As with far too many men, some women can become oblivious to their heart’s natural connection with the long, long line of human existence, and the pain of war, destruction, loss and death. Yes, there are women who have become powerful political/military voices who support the acts of war, attempt to justify the horror inflicted by militarism and violent organisations on men, women and children. There are women, wives and daughters, who unconditionally support their husbands and fathers regardless of the violence of the political, military and corporate decisions that their menfolk endorse.
The depths of the heart reveal the healing power through the capacity to feel for the plight of others.
It is in the natural order of things that once we have felt deeply the suffering of others, we must speak up. The confirmation of the depth shows itself in the voice of compassion. Loyalty to the nation state or to a loved one becomes the rationale to ignore empathy for the afflicted.
Our precious capacity to feel for others AND respond confirms our humanity. There are many women, men and children who feel deeply the sorrows of life going back thousands of years.
When we see women in Asia and Africa on our television screens weeping after an aerial bombardment or destruction of village or town through a military attack or employment of drones to exterminate people, we should remember that such women carry the emotional pain of the Earth.
When we see women weeping whose sons and daughters return from a war zone in a coffin or die in a road accident or die due to alcohol/ drugs, we should remember such women carry the emotional pain of the Earth.
When we feel deeply for loved ones and for others, near and far, we will find our voice to end the violence of tragic and unnecessary deaths.
More than ever, we need the voice of all women, including wives, partners, mothers, daughters and sisters, and caring men, to speak up, for the welfare of all of us, near and far.