Life is filled with opportunities for bearing witness to the positive and negative experiences in our world. When we do not turn away from what brings pain or what brings happiness, we acknowledge that both always exist — even in the same instant. When we can fully open ourselves to all the delights and challenges to which we and others are heir, without picking and choosing which ones we will attend, we can be part of the tapestry of life around us. Open to both painful and joyful events, we see our interconnection to everything around us even as we recognize that sometimes the only role we can play is to bear witness.

With an open heart, may I bear
witness to all of life's joy
and suffering,
that I may share the gift
of sympathetic joy for others'
happiness and compassion
for their sorrow.

Jean Smith in Now! The Art of Being Truly Present