Mercy Global Action: Presence to Self & Others
Siobhán Golden (The Congregation): ‘Cultivating a sense of belonging amid pandemic’
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives, causing many to feel isolation, disappointment, and grief. On a global basis, systemic inequalities have been highlighted and immense loss, suffering and distress continues to be experienced. It has had a dreadful impact on human rights, bringing to the forefront both the fragility and oneness of humanity and Earth.
For each of us, the emotional experience of the pandemic is highly individual. It is connecting us to our deepest values, our sense of self and our sense of belonging. To heal from this crisis and create an inclusive culture, we must show up each day with Presence. A Presence that calls us to have patience, empathy and compassion for ourselves and others. A Presence that invites us to feel an inevitable gratitude and hope for life and the living.
As human beings, we crave security, stability and peace of mind, the very traits that are threatened by COVID-19 and its fog of uncertainty. This fog presents us with the chance to discover growth and test our human resilience in the face of hardship. There is a renewed willingness to be present, to witness and accept the raw emotions of joy and grief, and to allow ourselves the patience to focus on the sacred within.
We have experienced varying degrees of loss, grief and disruption which affects our physical and mental well-being. The mental toll, compounded by the lack of social connections, challenges our need to belong, both spiritually and emotionally. The poet, Jessica Powers, describes this personal struggle for belonging as “the homelessness of the soul in the body sown; of seeing oneself a leaf, inexplicable and unknown, cast from an unimaginable tree”....
 Powers, J. “There is a homelessness”, My Carmel, accessed November 26, 2020. https://mycarmel.blog/tag/jessica-powers-poetry/
Siobhán Golden is the current intern with Mercy International Association - Global Action, where she is engaging in advocacy for international human rights and environmental justice at the international level. Siobhán is currently participating in the Mercy Emerging Leaders Fellowship and is conducting a research project on Women’s Homelessness in Ireland. She graduated from the University of Limerick, Ireland where she earned her Bachelor degree in Psychology and Spanish.
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