I’ve been fighting the rumblings of a cough. Then Orlando. Rain. My mind said workout, but my body said something else.
It is so like life to have you in a space of total lightness and optimism one moment and then test you a hundredfold the next, as if to say “Think you got it figured out? Well, let’s see how you fare with this….” Boom. So many dead and injured. So much hatred and pain.
Of course I want to dig my heels further into my optimism and hope for humanity, have my light burn ever more brightly so I can ray it forth with stars, rainbows, silly emoticons, superhuman love powers. Ever more brightly. Ever more brightly. But one can’t do that without pausing, gathering, recalibrating, feeling.
I needed quiet and stillness, tenderness, self-kindness. I gave myself time and space to breathe, lean, burrow. I let myself feel the pain, disappointment, shock, grief, sadness, terror–for the kind of world I brought my children into and the monumental task of birthing the kind of love we have never known before. And let myself feel my place in it. My possibilities in it.
I needed lying down days. Days. I puttered, sat, wrote, ate brownies, read, napped, tried not to do TV marathons but did, and fell in love with the lead investigator of The Tunnel. (Would he have me? Yes, I decided, of course he would, and he would be grateful for me every single day!) I made toast slathered in butter. Topped it with truffle cheese. Yes, it had to be a week of joy and fun, too, and of creating that in all my senses. I let myself be. I shushed the voice that whispers I fall short. (In fact, I may have sent it to the Maldives for a nice vacation). Of course I did lots of laundry–a chore I find most therapeutic and cleansing. And I was grateful, so grateful for every little thing. The little became big, the big so blessedly little. I crocheted to kingdom come. I caught up on online courses and prayed, prayed, prayed. I wrote love letters and didn’t send them. I did heart exercises and sent love to the world instead. The world. The universe. The vast everywhere. My love got there.
When terrible things happen, we feel hopeless or separate. We feel small and irrelevant. But I’ve always believed that especially in these horrible times, we are expanded and ever more connected. Our heart forces reach out to one another and there we all are, together as we have never been. But we don’t recognize that as everyday possibility. We think we have to resort to grand gestures–be a rockstar, make tons of money first so we can give to the world, fly to some war-torn country and heal the wounded, give speeches, be seen, have millions of followers. We tell ourselves it’s the only way to make a difference.
We are powerful where we are. We are powerful in the way we choose to live our lives everyday. It’s in the conversations we have, in the lens we put on as we look at people who hurt us, how we choose to behave in challenging situations, how we choose to love. These are our superpowers and they are not small. They are larger than life and they reverberate invisibly every second of our lives. Our thoughts, our feelings, our words, our hopes, whether we reach out or build walls…how we live. Everyday. This is how. Our lives are our contribution. It is not small at all.
Have your lying down days. Have Tom Hiddleston kiss you instead. Take the hand of the beloved who will meet you in all the bridges of the world, even if he hasn’t shown up yet. Believe it. Claim it. Dance it! All while in your pajamas. Then come back to the world refreshed. The world depends on your life for healing. Make it joyful. Fill it with love.