Thank You for Sitting on My Bench

Can I hug you all? Seriously, consider these words a virtual hug traveling from WordPress to your computer or smartphone or tablet or smartwatch or whatever device connects us. Because THANK YOUS are in order.

I wrote a post yesterday about how crappy things have been lately and how crappy this YEAR has been. I felt better after writing it (writing heals me, always), but I didn’t fully expect what would happen next. Holy macaroni you guys rock. I was flooded with messages of love and support (and some commiseration too—apparently I’m not the only one who had a bad 2016!). It was absolutely beautiful.

It also confirmed what I already knew, which is that sharing our vulnerabilities in a safe way, with people we trust and whom have earned their right to hear our story, can be truly transformative.This blog has shown me how writing is only half of the puzzle. An important piece for sure—writing is powerful and healing in and of itself. But the second piece, sharing that writing with a tribe who loves and supports you, has the capacity to heal in ways I never fully understood until this year.

Writing + Community (virtual and real world) reminds me of those recycling plants that make benches out of old milk jugs. Writing takes the broken pieces and builds something new, and if you are lucky, that something new might end up being a bench. And if you are luckier still, friends and strangers will SIT on that bench, hold your hand and say, it will be ok.

From my heart to yours, thank you for sitting next to me on the bench. And when you need someone on your bench, because we all do from time to time, you know who to reach out to.

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The Dream

There is a large hall full of people, but I initially chose the small side room. I was there by myself, surrounded by plates and plates of hors d’oeuvres. The restaurant servers kept delivering them to me. (My late mother–who was not present because, hello, deceased–had pre-ordered these hors d’oeuvres for everyone. Which if you knew my mom is so my mom.)

It got lonely in this little room. Plus, all this abundance to share. I could not consume it alone. 

I came into the great hall only to discover a series of long tables full of friends and family who had been waiting to see me.

At this point I tried on several different outfits until I found what is comfortable on my skin (ahh–to be comfortable in our own skin) and then I spent time catching up with everyone. So much time had already been lost! 

Dreams, ammiright?

 

“[A]n emotion that rises from the soul.” Part IV of my healing journey.

Grief is alive, wild, untamed and cannot be domesticated… It is truly an emotion that rises from the soul.
– Francis Weller

Last week I began writing about my healing journey since losing my mom, then a pregnancy.

I am discovering it was easier to share with you the experience of the pain rather than the beauty of grief.

I want to tell you about the gifts that come from the wild, untamed, soul force of grief. But it feels wrong. It feels sacreligous.

I am re-learning how there are two sides to all experiences. Behind the dark is light. And even behind light is dark.

It still feels wrong to speak of beauty in grief. To exclaim the wondrous joys and gifts that blossom from healing. I want to say, but I would trade any of it to have my mom back or my pregnancy back. (And I would.)

And yet I can’t get them back. Instead I am left to make sense of a journey that twisted and turned through through dark corners and expansive fields with sunshine. 

I am still walking the journey and the parts with light are very recent memories on this journey. I am not prepared to draw full conclusions or to tell you even where this road will lead.

But I can share this: that beautiful and incredible things happened when I faced my deepest pain and my most vulnerable self.

When my small ego mind admitted it could not do it all, that it was not capable of finding the path out of pain, nor solving the problems of grief (as though there is a solution!), that it was, dare I say, FAILING in its job to fix, to be a hero, to stand alone like a mountain—that was the turning point.

I found out that none of us are alone in our suffering.  That instead of being pinpointed, picked up and punished by the universe, we are simply experiencing the very human pain of being alive on earth.

I found that healing can happen unexpectedly and rapidly when there is community and connection. That by standing in a sacred place among community transformed me. That the simple act of singing with a group of fifty, sixty, seventy and yes, eighty-year-olds, and looking out week after week and always seeing yellow butterflies, that this too healed me.

How long-buried gifts of writing, art, and music were not forever condemned to the attic of my life. That they were not merely childish passions that led down short stumpy paths only to be long forgotten. No, they were secret lockets waiting to be opened. 

I have opened them and I have delighted in them.

I cannot wait to decipher the many mysteries that remain. I have no idea where my creative urges will lead me but I know I will continue to be humbled by what can happen when you surrender to your heart.

Thank you also to you, dear readers, for supporting and encouraging me. You are part of the community and connection that has brought me to where I am now, and for that I am forever grateful.

Grief undermines the quiet agreement to behave and be in control of our emotions. It is an act of protest that declares our refusal to live numb and small. There is something feral about grief, something essentially outside the ordained and the sanctioned behaviours of our culture. Because of that, grief is necessary to the vitality of the soul. Contrary to our fears, grief is suffused with life force… It is not a state of deadness or emotional flatness. Grief is alive, wild, untamed and cannot be domesticated… It is truly an emotion that rises from the soul.
– Francis Weller

 

From independence to interdependence

Independence is I’ve got this. Interdependence is we need each other.

Independence is nobody understands. Interdependence is we feel your pain and lift you up.

Independence is I can’t trust anyone. Interdependence is we have your back.

Independence is each for themselves. Interdependence is we are stronger together.

Independence is I need more stuff. Interdependence is you are enough.

Independence is my country first. Interdependence is Earth Mother first.

declaration-of-interdependence

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