Those were the words that earlier today brought me to tears and figuratively brought me to my knees.
It might have been more graceful if I had actually been brought to my knees. I could have avoided the very obvious and very awkward moment when I realized I was the only choir member not standing, only to then find myself standing with the wrong hymnal, only to then stumble to find the correct page in the correct book. Singing apparently wasn’t happening for me either, unless it was going to be me squeaking out words, which then generated more tears in a never ending cycle of grace and tears, grace and tears.
All the while as this was happening (in front of a hushed and watching congregation) I was thinking about how funny it was that of all people, I was the one openly crying. (This thought touched me and, you guessed it, made me tear up more.)
Until recently I never really spontaneously cried. I operated on a delay. Longer even than the Olympic delay. Only after my logical brain could examine and then parse it would I finally feel safe enough to FEEL.
So back to the openly-crying-when-I-was-supposed-to-be-singing…I don’t know what exactly it was about the words but the guided meditation stirred the pot, as it were.
We were led to remember both a moment recently that was infused with love and a moment that was not. And the take-away was that we should remember how that moment of love felt and we should have it ready to to hold when another crap-tastic moment comes up in our life. (My words, not quite what Reverend Allison said.)
Yeah, I know this song and dance. Where you honor the pain, but ever so gently…you don’t want to squeeze it until your knuckles are white. You don’t want the pain to overcome you, or numb you, or embitter you. (Been there, done that, not pretty.)
And the trickiest dance step of all: meeting that pain with love.
That part can be hard. Like, really really hard.
So today I was crying about it all. Thinking about the moments of love made me realize how much I miss my mom right now. Her birthday is next week. And come a month from now, it will be three years she has been gone from earth.
And then I thought about the crummy things too. All the things that have come undone since my mom died. How there are wounds that remain very much not healed. The kind of pain where simply facing it is hard, let alone meeting it with love, thank you very much.
Tears tears and more tears. Of love and grace and pain and heartbreak all meshed together.
It may sound strange to count this as a victory, but how wonderful that I was able to openly cry among other imperfect humans who tolerate (nay, encourage) my weeping into the wrong hymnal on the wrong page at the wrong time.
I know none of them were judging me. (If they noticed, that is—we have a bad habit of staring down into our hymnals and not looking up and out at the choir! but we are working on it.)
And get this: as I sit here now, writing it all out and re-feeling the love, I heard something outside my window near the bird feeder I put in recently.
I looked out, and outside on the ground was a mourning dove.
Blessed be. Love endures.
Do you know this dance? Share if you feel so inclined.