I am holding in the light this morning all those who have been affected by the tragedy yesterday in Boston. To the families, to the emergency personnel, to the aching city itself…we love you.

At times like these, those of us who live at a distance from the event itself can feel so helpless. Our natural compassion is stirred, and and our natural urge is to lend assistance, but we often don't know how.

I'm curious at how all of you manage your own sorrow and frustration at such moments.

What I've taken to doing in instances like this is to use my heartache as a motivation to reach out deeper into my own community, offering help to those who are suffering right in front of me. I do this quite consciously in the name of all those who are out of my reach — in the name of all those whom I cannot assist. With Boston's anguish in my heart, then, I will be making offerings in the coming week to my local cancer support center, to my local Habitat for Humanity, to my local food pantry. Does it make sense for me to do this? I don't know, but somehow doing this always eases my heart at least somewhat.

I guess I see it this way — Out there in the distance is suffering that I cannot erase; over here right before my eyes is suffering that I can address. Does it balance anything out to take an action here? Does it make a difference? Again, I don't know. But over the years, I've found this to be the only effective way I can personally ease my own frustration and helpless sorrow at times like these. Otherwise, I just spin and spin into even more grief.

Can I ask how you all you cope and react in such instances? Perhaps we can all share some ideas, or at least some love.

Blessings to all, love to Boston, and prayers for comfort,

via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall