I first published this post on November 30, 2010. It’s been calling to me in the quiet moments just before sleep. Here it is again – a reminder for us to be gentle with ourselves and each other.
I wonder how many of us walk through the world appearing to function normally, but if the right button is pushed, the right music is played, the right question is asked, the wound we wear beneath our clothes begins to ooze. A lost child, a failed marriage, a dead parent, an act of violence witnessed or experienced. I wonder how many of us have the courage to meet that ooze with love, honesty and compassion, to allow the tears in front of strangers, to make the messiness visible and admit we can’t tie it all up in a shiny package with a Martha Stewart bow. I wonder how many of us harden against the vulnerability of it. How many turn unshed tears into fortress walls, heartache into armor, grief into rage. We are wounded and so we wound. We tighten instead of loosen, harden rather than soften, put on our best game face while we crumble inside.
As I wonder, my heart fills with compassion for all of us. We humans, the walking wounded. We do the best we can for our level of awareness. I do my best. Sometimes I fall short. Sometimes I rise to the opportunity I have been given to soften into love, grow into myself, sit in my own oozing skin.
In a moment of clarity I see that my work in this world is to turn toward ease and joy, to say yes to life, to allow the waves of fear, indecision, and uncertainty to wash through me, then come up for air with greater understanding. Life happens – moving, traveling, unmet expectations. I lose that clarity, that vision. I get grumpy. I throw a nasty look at the young man who cuts in front of my family in line, wondering at his sense of entitlement. I sigh when my daughter asks to be picked up for the umpteenth time when I’m trying to get something done. I look in the mirror and forget to love my body – this body that has carried me, carried life and now carries grief. I forget that the wound is there for a moment until my judgment cracks the scab and I see blood. Ah yes – there I am. Human.
Raw. Feeling my way back to whole.