These past few weeks have brought some extremely emotional experiences into my life. And I have felt a strong desire to write about them. I don’t even know the exact direction I am going in, I think maybe I just want to write. Without thought of structure, or cohesiveness, or of teaching or really any specific intention. I just want to write. I guess that is the beauty of the written word, sometimes you just write for your own cathartic needs.
A little over a month ago I lost a step brother. And I stood by and watched people going through the loss of a husband, friend, brother and son. This particular experience was one of the saddest I have ever encountered in my life. As a mother, watching someone lose their child, rips your heart right out of your body. And while my belief system is such that I feel physical death does not equate with permanent death of our soul/spirit/consciousness, that belief, even when held by those dealing with the loss, does little in many moments to stop someone’s pain.
During this time I also watched others that I love deeply deal with struggle, and I have had to deal with struggles of my own. Also last month I spent time with one of my college roommates who lost her daughter almost 4 years ago now. And I felt her pain and struggle in my heart. And throughout all of this something kept standing out to me. How the truth of who we are is so raw and apparent when people go through deeply painful experiences. The place of vulnerability we get brought to, when the masks we wear and the fronts we put up are washed away by our pain, is somehow inherently beautiful.
I thought what a paradox. In our pain we become transparent and unafraid of being who we truly are. To see into someone’s soul like that, is a place of true connection. Where there are not words to hide behind, because there simply are none, we have only our spirits to connect to someone else with.
In tragedy we feel empathy for others. Something many don’t engage in on a daily basis. And it saddens me that it’s the worst experiences in our lives that bring out the most empathy in others. But it just makes me think that when we are in that state, dealing with such depths of emotional weight, that we become unafraid to accept help. We need it. We accept it. We don’t fight anymore when people offer to do this or that for us. And again, it makes me think, what if we all were more like that on a daily basis? No ego in the way of seeming independent, no “I can do it myself,” nothing to prove. Just empty and allowing others to fill us up.
And I can’t help but think “isn’t that really it though, why we are here?” We are not here to all be separate islands, pretending all the time. We are here to love, connect, support, hold up, carry, enrich and enlighten one another. To me those are the riches of having life. And we need to be vulnerable in order to allow those elements of life. Yet we are so afraid of being vulnerable. It takes us being brought to our knees sometimes to experience the deepest kind of human connection.
Then in time it goes away. The walls are rebuilt, the masks are replaced and we forget how beautiful soul to soul connection can be. And I just keep thinking, why can’t we stay in that space? Not of pain and sorrow, but believing we are all in this together? Knowing underneath it all we are all kindred spirits. We all fight the same demons within. And we can all heal and rise up together, if we allow it.