Don’t Play Before You Have To

In the last six weeks, I have had to continually walk into the places of surrendering to what I can do and not do. Real stuff, not philosophy. There have been countless conversations within my self, my family, my mentor, my friends. You know that place when you feel the impact of a feather falling to the ground. The kind of times when you just find yourself skipping stones on a stormy sea. This requires deep acceptance and a profound being with one’s heart.

I’ve had to look at mortality again and again. Not because it’s simply happening out there. I’ve had to put aside what I know of “fixing” and dwell in the place of love attuning to the different ways that expresses itself. I’ve had to be with what is uncomfortable and painful so deep in the heart of what living and dying means. Raw honesty. Real conversations. Not just the kumbaya kind.

I choose to fully embrace the sadness and grief when most would just turn away. Not just to discharge it but to truly circulate and let its wisdom penetrate every fiber of my soul. What is the grace in this, too? And to find the place where peace and stillness can not be touched by anything – that which holds each one of us.

I’ve had to accept that most of humanity simply just can’t be with loss and pain. It’s sad. It’s such a part of the human fabric. Too much fake Pollyanna is like scraping scabies. I’ve been deflected by others so much, or simply tuned out by a blankness. Somehow, even the ones that seem conscious are too easy to interject about another suffering on the other side of the world or about someone else rather than just breathing with the person who is reaching out in front of them, saying “I am suffering.” Or to give a non dualistic approach that so completely denies what is right here in front. It is very easy to hide behind the text on screens. Try it and notice your wings unfurl. We have all been on both sides.

When you meet another in this place, you will survive. No, you won’t shatter. Maybe just your beliefs and mental formations that have caught cobwebs. When you truly meet another in this place, the most profound tenderness and strength reveal without having to manufacture either. No need for clinical distance either. This isn’t about us cheating each other.

It is very easy to give fix it answers, that really fixes more one’s discomfort than the other’s pain. Yes, it is the way it is AND feelings are feelings and they need to be included too. It is so part of what it means to be human. Even the animals I have worked with have feelings of grief and joy. They too go through loss and separation. They too love. Emotion is energy in motion. Why do we reject something so intrinsically us?

All my life, I have always felt more than most. I experience life vividly. That means not only do I feel emotions of sadness, I also experience a lot of joy and the colors are very vivid and the taste of food punchy and complex. I also love more. I allow myself to be love. And yes, that means also feeling vulnerable.

I feel much compassion for people who can’t feel. I find it tragic to be so untouched, especially with a body that is all about receiving and giving information. It is not simply about emotional education, because even therapists have a hard time to do it. Why do we so easily take the armor of self-preservation rather than allow our hearts to be touched by vulnerability?

Being caught by the reflection of the moon is not different than catching the tear of someone. If you ever dare taste the dewdrop in the autumn morning, then why not hold the hand or feet of someone in shock? In this cycle of life, we take turns.

I never understood funerals when people come, and yet, were not there when the person still breathe and felt. Don’t be that person. Wake up and don’t play dead until you have to.

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