Etty Hillesum (1914–1943) died at Auschwitz at the age of 29, but her deepening relationship with the Divine in the last two years of her life led her into great solidarity with those who suffered.
Given the Covid shit storm of suffering that has engulfed our planet this past 14 months, Etty’s words still ring true today. Personally, they give me courage. I’ve never been particularly worried by the idea of death, (easy to say when you are not faced with it I know) and Etty’s wisdom helps guide me each passing day.
As the war continued, she fully accepted her awful situation and chose to love ever more consciously:
By “coming to terms with life” I mean: the reality of death has become a definite part of my life; my life has, so to speak, been extended by death, by my looking death in the eye and accepting it, by accepting destruction as part of life and no longer wasting my energies on fear of death or the refusal to acknowledge its inevitability. It sounds paradoxical: by excluding death from our life we cannot live a full life, and by admitting death into our life we enlarge and enrich life…
This pandemic continues to wreak suffering upon the world, but Etty reminds me that every day, we have many opportunities in which to take action to make a difference in the world, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant that difference may be. May I love a little more consciously today.
Go get em folks,