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Faces of Silent Desperation

June 02, 20235 min read

8 Reasons

Faces of Silent Desperation

After a longer time than professionally suggested, I am sitting at the hair salon, getting my hair colored. Taking these 2 hours out of my life to hide my grays often falls to the bottom of my priority list. As I sit with my cup of coffee and a book in my lap, I overhear the multiple conversations around me. I hear a woman in her mid sixties share with the young twenty year old girl putting color on her hair. “ …there is so much more pressure, more homework, more tests, so much to do…so little time to create.” She has spent the past 38 years of her life as a teacher, striving to make a difference in her students' lives. Where once she found joy, inspiration and fulfillment, she now feels disheartened. Her face is drawn and sorrowful, the eyes that once sparkled now struggle to even open as she shares her reality. There is silence as the young girl does not answer back. An awkward silence, so the woman continues on, “…this week I decided to do something different, to break from the summer school curriculum and to take 15 extra minutes for the children to create. Not study, not practice, not follow my directions…just create. It was 15 minutes of pure joy.” Her face has brightened and her eyes have a brief twinkle, just as the silence seems to interrupt it all.

There is another woman to the left of me that is also getting color put on her hair. She is talking on and on, hardly pausing to catch her breath. Her eyes are darting back and forth, side to side. Her hands are restless and her face so very tense. “ It is like there is nothing I can do,” she tells the colorist, “ it is 50/50 custody, the courts just decide and the children suffer. How is that fair, where is the responsibility to the children? I just don’t know what to do…” The colorist, a married woman in her late thirties, nods her head. She agrees that it seems rather unfair, and she taps the side of her shoulder. The desperation is pouring out of the woman’s eyes as a tear lightly streams down her cheek.

I am sitting in my chair listening to my colorist tell me about the struggle his mother is having as she ages. His voice is soft and somewhat fragile as he explains that he wishes he could visit more but his schedule just doesn’t allow it. If he had more time with her, that would help him not to worry so much, but he just can’t take the time off work. The sadness covers over him like a thick blanket. The weight of his worry is undeniable, and my heart aches.  I am deeply struck by the amount of pain and silent desperation in this one room; as I look around and see the faces that tell it all.
This pain is not limited to this room; this is the pain of the world. It seems that there is so much hurt and suffering today. I hear it day in and day out. I see it on the faces of friends, family and strangers. I hear it in the stories that we share, the cries that we echo. So many people are in pain and there appears to be no way out. We hear it on the street, in the stores, on the news and around the world. A deep pain that is permeating the human race at an astounding rate. As I sit in the chair of a hair salon today, I not only thought of this pain, I felt this pain. On a much deeper level, the pain of the soul that cries out only to be unheard.

I believe in humanity. I believe that we are all created in an essence of goodness, innocence and light. We do not come into this world carrying the pains we choose to carry today. Yet, I look around and see so many people believing that this pain is the only option. Individuals who believe that they are alone, that they are walking the road untraveled with no one to guide or support them. That their pain is worse than any others and one that must endure on its own. Yet, we are not alone. We are no different than one another; from the disheartened teacher to the divorced mom, to the son who is losing his first love. We are all in this together and the pain of one another directly affects the pain of us all.

I wonder when we will start healing the pain of the world; when we will start healing the pain of our own heart? When will we not accept so much pain to be our reality? When will we reach out to one another, heart to heart, healer to healer and love again? It seems the world has forgotten what it truly means to love. We desperately search for cures to diseases, solutions to economic disasters and answers to political debates while we neglect each other. We ignore the pain unless it is our pain and we operate as if the world is only about us. The pain continues to grow and the heart begins to weaken. Yet all along, the answers, the healing has been within us. The problem is the solution. We each have the remarkable ability to heal not only ourselves but one another, and it is in fact our very own birthright. We have been given the power of love to drive out pain; from within us to be shared outside of us.

It is with our own heart that we will heal the world, one person at a time, and the pain will disappear. As we continue to spread  our light, the darkness will have nowhere to hide.

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