Tag Archives: robert frost

Monday’s Meditation: On The Power Of Normalcy To Heal Heart Ache Of All Kinds

Monday, July 3, 2017

on the power of ordinary interactions and everyday responsibilities to heal heart ache of all kinds

When we get our hearts broken, when we lose someone we care about, when we lose our jobs, lose our vision, lose our faith, we can feel our running-stitched seams–the ones that hold in all that weird, fluffy emotion stuffing inside–being severed.

And when this happens, we become consumed by the pain of our missing stitches.

Inevitably when we’re in such an undone state, the world won’t seem to let us be. Up pops a work project, or a professional meeting, or some distant acquaintance whose presence demands that we somewhat keep it together.

Like how people you haven’t seen in ages have a way of turning up at funerals. Or how the neighbor wants to chat about HOA dues right after you’ve had a gangbuster of a fight with your spouse. Or how work is always there. The client is waiting. The boss is waiting. You have to go in tomorrow and do your best to be whole.

It’s terrible when we’re prevented from doing what we think we want to do, which is to pull out the rest of our stuffing, and pancake onto our beds. Not talk to people. Not catch up with some friend of your mom’s you haven’t seen since you were five. Not be expected to appear as a functioning human in front of people, when all we want to do is be left alone to lie flatly. 

“Can’t you see I’m not even a person right now??” We want to say. “Can’t you see I have this big, ripped seam? Can’t you just let me be??” 

When we’re the furthest thing from okay, there is an ironic way in which the inclination to seem as though we’re okay in the presence of others pushes us in that direction. 

That detestable interaction or responsibility or commitment can be what saves us.

It reminds us of how we were before. It allows us to reoccupy the role of who we principally hold ourselves to be. It tells us, even when we can’t hardly believe that such a thing could be true, or will ever be for us, that life continues.

Meaningless small talk, unrelenting work projects, even discussions about the record-high temperatures in Arizona, these things help us begin to feel whole again.

The presence of others and of routine responsibilities invite us to reconnect with life, ordinary as it may be at times, and with vitality in the wake of sorrow and despair.

The people in our lives with ripped seams need us to stay close to them, not timidly fade into the background for fear of saying the wrong thing. Because the truth is, it doesn’t matter what we say, whether it’s blathering on about career plans and deadlines and the weather and stupid TV shows, or just sitting in silence on the other end of the telephone. What matters is that we don’t leave a ripped-open person alone with their pain.

Our presence may be their best reminder at what normal feels like.



Monday’s Meditation: On Leading or Being Lead

Monday, March 21, 2016

Be assertive. Take risks. Use the words "yes" and "no" with great thoughtfulness and care. Place self care above your desire to please others. This is the way to a happy life.

Life goes like this:

Either you lead or you are lead.

Either you direct or you are directed.

Either you choose or the choices are made for you.

It is always this way. Life slows for no man and it pauses for no woman. Rather, it is intent on ensuring that all of us–the whole system–is in constant movement. If we do not work to actively shape our realities, the universe absolutely sees to it that external forces intervene and create movement and change for us.

So, either you seek out the person at the party whom you wish to speak to, or the person who wants to talk to you will engage you. In the first scenario, you have an encounter with the person you wished to know. In the second, the person who wanted to talk to you does, but whether that simultaneously satisfies your desires and needs is unknown.

Either you block out time in your schedule to attend to the tasks that are important to you, or you remain at the whim of others’ requests (this often looks like day after day of merely fielding emails).

Either you wield the sacred words of “yes” and “no” with authenticity and assertiveness, or you spend your life living on someone else’s terms, making plans when it is convenient for others, eating food selected by someone not yourself, sacrificing self care, and your truest forms of fulfillment.

Sure, there might be people who prefer it this way, people who are content to never choose a restaurant to eat out with their significant other, people who prefer that opportunities and trips are presented to them, rather than seeking them out, themselves.

But, do these people really exist?

And if so, are they confident individuals who put their faith in things going well? Do they feel worthy of taking up a healthy amount of space in the world? Are they people who are more efficient than they are lazy?

Or, are they merely people who prioritize pleasing others above all else? People who are too meek to speak their needs?

Even the meekest among us has personal preferences and desires and dreams.

But most of us, even those of us who are empowered, are too often prone to avoid summoning up the boldness required to live our most authentic lives.

We’re scared, see.

We neglect directing our dreams and desires because we’re full of fear.

We worm our way around making choices because in choosing we might choose wrong and that makes us paralyzingly afraid.

We don’t ask, don’t call, don’t reach out our hand in meeting, don’t plan, don’t invite, don’t suggest, all because we’re afraid. Afraid of rejection, of failure, of looking stupid, of losing our way, but more, I think, we’re afraid of finding it. Scared that if we stand triumphantly at the stern, we’ll steer directly towards our happiest, most fulfilled life. And who are we to get all we want? Remember? Who are we not to?

We are here to live as ourselves, and there isn’t a single person who can do that for us.

None but ourselves is going to take more risks.

None but ourselves is going to have more faith.

None but ourselves is going to fade away fear.

Lead your life.

Create; don’t conform.