Today’s meditation is about caring.
To me, caring is about showing up to life, participating.
Kathleen Norris writes, “Care derives from an Indo-European word meaning “to cry out,” as in a lament. Caring is not passive, but an assertion that no matter how strained and messy our relationships can be, it is worth something to be present, with others, doing our small part.”
Caring is a vulnerable posture. Sometimes we’re caring about things we can control; more often, we’re caring about things over which we have little control. To care, then, means to open ourselves up to disappointment. Last time I checked, disappointment’s never fun.
The alternative—not caring—seems much safer:
“I don’t care if the book sells well.”
“I don’t care if he calls me back or not.”
“I don’t care if they invite me.”
“I don’t care if I get the interview.”
“I don’t care what they think of me.”
While every once in awhile some of this kind of non-caring is actually true, most of the time it’s pretty much total B.S.
We act blasé because it gives us a sense of control, especially when we’re actually feeling completely out of control, completely exposed, completely vulnerable. Our “meh, whatever” attitude is a defense against our deepest, scariest desires.
Is there something in your life that—deep down—you really do care about (perhaps you’re even dying over a little bit) and you need to admit that to yourself?
Today, what do you need to “care” about? Not take care of. No, not that. What do you need to engage with your true feelings about? What do you need to awaken to? Participate in? Face? Admit your desire around? “Cry out” regarding?
Usually, it hurts to care about something. Sorry to say. But you know what hurts worse? Meh, whatever.
Has acting like you don’t care ever backfired on you? Is caring hard for you? How has caring about something taught you more about yourself? What have been some of the consequences of not caring?