I’m never quite sure when the days will come when my body and soul simply needs to cry….I am pretty sure I don’t sit down and write when they do. Today I am going to type through the tears…
Nothing is wrong, yet really everything is wrong and somehow, unbelievably, all is right. I am raw and vulnerable and affected by so much going on in the world and my life and it became time to take a day and simply cry over it all. It doesn’t happen often, it usually takes days if not weeks to build, and I have learned to be kind to myself and let it wash over me when it needs to. It is one small way I have learned to truly take care of myself over the past four and a half years. Before I would have tried to stop the tears, berated myself for lingering too long in a sad space, pushed and pushed to hide the emotions, tears and puffy eyes. No more. Life IS this hard. Not just for me but for everyone. I have learned to sit in this place of being overwhelmed and sad and confused. Just sit. Let it come. Breathe. Because I also know it will go in time.
How can I even begin to put into words my world and all the overwhelming pieces….I’m not sure I can. Ironically, the part of me that is most likely to be the source of tears isn’t. And a lot of it isn’t even bad and is in fact great…and great, when contrasted with hardships, can often be an emotional and overwhelming place.
I continue to be truly humbled, and puzzled, by the gifts the Universe delivers to my door each and every day. I just chuckled because right now my front porch is literally full of wonderful school supplies that thoughtful, kind-hearted teachers gathered and passed along as the school year wrapped up. Actual gifts entrusted to me to be passed on to the children they are reaching out to. On my porch…
I finished a 5 month yoga teacher training that has been nothing short of life altering. And I thought I was doing pretty good in the enlightened and living department…..oh how far I have to go. And what a beautiful path to walk with beautiful souls all around me. That gift, the one I took a chance on 5 years ago to lose a little bit of grief around the middle, has turned out to be my holy space. Talk about no words…..yoga, my yoga space, my yoga soul mates, my yoga teachers….saviors in the greatest sense of the word.
I have been working as hard as I ever have in my life to realize my dreams of changing lives through education. Doors have been opened, opportunities presented, proposals made. I have more possibilities in many ways I never dreamed possible. I have also seen doors closed. I continue to marvel at how often my passion and desire and committment to big changes can be viewed as “too much”. Maybe it is way the world trudges along even when change is so desperatly needed. That fear of being too big. I can think of three times in my life that another’s words or an experience could have slowed me down for good. Once presenting a graduate paper to a group of professors (my professor signed me up in the wrong category – clearly not my peers!) and I was torn apart both during and after the session. I could have stopped right there and believed that I went too far. That my ideas were wrong. Sure, there was embarrassment and some tears…and then a whole lot of laughter. The second experience as working at my first “real job” and having my supervisor, at every turn, take time to let me know how little potential she believed I had. The best comment was when she told me I simply was not a “big picture thinker” and never would be. Ouch. 20+ years later I still stew over that and would go toe to toe with her any day on big picture thinking…. My last experience came just a few weeks ago in a meeting sharing my passion to change how we look at education, and specifically how we can address some very serious problems through work in healthcare organizations. I was on fire that day – articulate, passionate, dedicated. I was not intimidated by the accomplished man across the table in the big office on the top floor. I approached this meeting as his peer (which I very much am, despite whatever notion he brought to the table that day). Actually I am pretty sure he did not feel the same about me. I suspect, in retrospect, he was expecting a PWW (priviledged white woman) who managed to get a meeting through connections and was going to politely ask for a bit of support for her little project at the local hospital. We were not on the same page. After my passion and excitement wrapped up, his response was to tell me. “You have a lot of audacity walking into my office like this today.” Could. Not. Breathe. In fact I was stunned for days…..I could have been silenced. I could have toned things down. I could have tried to tame my audacious nature and passion for children. Instead I chose to go, hard, in the other direction. So some tears today come from a lot of hard work towards a goal I am committed to achieving. Audacious? Maybe. Going to happen? Hell yes.
I have had a huge heavy grieving heart as well. Life is so hard and I ache for those I know who are having to dig deep for strength to rise each and every day. Some have lost mothers, others fathers. Cancer has taken far too many too soon and is making families battle in ways and in spaces I know they could never have imagined being in. In the past I would have tried not to take on these emotional packages, thinking they didn’t belong to me. They actually DO belong to each and every one of us. We should feel for others. We should cry when people are raw and open and hurting. Just as we rejoice in others success (let’s do more of that too, ok?) we should feel the pain of other’s journeys. Wrap that energy around them – even if you don’t know them. Offer your prayer, your intention, your energy, your presence, your tears….offer that to the world. See what happens when that compassion is allowed to grow in your heart. So what if you lose a few minutes to the tears? Those tears may be creating space for something new in you….like flowing water that shapes the Earth, let’s look at our tears as ways to shape our own hearts.
My own tears are gone now. I feel lighter. I sat with my joys and my heartaches today. I grew.
If you have not read Sheryl Sandburg’s latest post on FB I URGE you to read it. It was one of the many things that made me step back today. give myself space and time and ready myself and heart for the journey of tomorrow.