Hey, you guys. Been thinking about you.
For more than a day I’ve been telling myself that there’s something in the air, an emotional Ebola maybe, and that my superpowers would render me impervious to the pandemic of feelings floating around. So I strapped myself into an imaginary bubble and sat with my inner juices, telling myself all the while that I no longer believe that emotions flow invisibly through the ethers.
Huh. Also: ha.
My heart hurts. There are people Out There who hurt, who grieve and who justifiably feel angry and powerless and unsupported by society. My heart hurts that this is a reality that my fellow humans — my sisters and brothers — face every day. Unendingly. My heart hurts too that what I imagine is the reality of people Out There is also the reality In Here.
I hurt, I grieve, I feel angry and powerless and unsupported by society. So of course I will see those same things in others.
I say all this and feel judgement. I tell myself I shouldn’t feel angry or trapped in a body that won’t do what I want it to. I shouldn’t envy everyone out there sweating in hot yoga just because I can’t join them now. I tell myself I should focus on what I can do, or on healing, or on pleasure, or on simply being.
Being — the mere act of showing up and existing — should count, right? It’s enough.
So why do I want more?
Last night I sat wrapped in a blanket in our living room, watching for the first time my beloved Dave Donatiu share and teach his life’s work, The Paradox Cure, publicly. He was masterful, illuminating, heartful. So alive. I felt the energy in the room shift and change as the people who came dropped in to the new world he showed them. Magical.
One of the first things we did last night was breathe. I know about breathing, dammit! I could teach a class on tantric breath techniques. But do I practice them? Not often enough. Which is maybe why it felt SO GOOD to breathe consciously for a few minutes. The feeling of filling up, of expansion, of massaging my body with life — exquisite! My butt muscles unclenched and my heart opened. Why don’t I do this more often?
So many feels.
Contrast the grief and anger that’s being expressed all over my country with the peacefulness of Thich Nhat Hanh, who lies in a hospital bed at this moment, likely heading eventually towards a gentle exit into death. One of my friends — I can’t remember who to give credit to — called him a peace avatar. I suspect he is one.
I have this belief that as a society, we get more polarized about things just before great change. Marriage equality. Rape culture and treatment of women. Ferguson.
Black Lives Matter. All lives matter, but until black lives matter the same as other lives, we have work to do.
I read an essay today about airport workers, the people who clean the planes or push the wheelchairs or take the bags from travelers arriving by cab or limo. Phoenix Sky Harbor employs a whole city’s worth, more than 42,000, and most of them work in abysmal conditions (un-air conditioned airplanes on the desert tarmac!) for not enough money to live on. My heart hurt reading that.
I hardly ever write about politics or current events or social justice. I use an inner barometer when posting. If it’s not true for me and aligned with who I am in the moment, I don’t say it. I respect diversity of experience and opinion, and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me on everything.
But I sit here, wanting to make a difference, believing that I can’t possibly be of help to anyone Out There because my body is too tired and my resources are too engaged in healing to do anything but rest and Be. Is this how a lot of us feel? Wanting to make a difference in the world but not sure we are big enough to be of help to anyone, save maybe a few people in our little corner of the world?
And sure, I know the kumbayah notion that our little difference matters. I know the starfish story of the little boy on the beach who gently tossed starfish back into the sea. You can’t possibly save all the starfish, but the ones you do save, well, it makes a difference to them, right?
I guess what I’m saying is that I FEEL THE FEELS. So many people in need, hurting. And I am just one woman, one woman with brain tumors. And I don’t know which starfish is the one I should pick up and gently return to the ocean. If any.
Breathing. Feeling. Thinking that maybe there’s not much of anything else to do but just that. Maybe that’s enough.
Much love, as always.