I’m not going to lie. I’m not always a happy person sitting around praying and contemplating love and life. A blog is where, for many of us, we want to just be ourselves. We want to be authentic to a circle of strangers who, through words and common ideas, have come to feel somehow like distant friends or respected colleagues. So although I’m tempted to strictly maintain an uplifting vibe on this site, even at the cost of authenticity, I also just want to be real. Some days are dreary! I’m not Amma or the Dalai Lama after all!
But thank goodness that it also takes some thought to put together a blogpost because trying to write about feeling down got me to thinking….maybe the darker days and the less hopeful moments are just as important as the positive days in respect to being interconnected. After all, isn’t the challenge to maintain some kind of elevated perspective even through those times? To believe in hope and a greater love when there seems to be no hope, especially in “love”?? (Sheesh, I’m sorry but doesn’t love just deserve sarcastic quotes sometimes??) To hold each other up when that is what’s needed and to be sensitive to the energy of others?
The other day I cried. Just a few years ago I used to cry A LOT. I used to be quite sad quite often. Not so much anymore, except that last Sunday there was a familiar dark cloud over me whose presence felt like an old frenemy. And since my grasp on hope and optimism was already slipping that day, I willingly (and I would say, weakly) invited that old friend to come on over and stay for a while. The familiarity of something destructive is sometimes more comforting than all the (mere) potential good that the unknown holds.
The downside to inviting gloom to hang out is that it isn’t a friend who knows when it has overstayed its welcome. Hence, here I am on Wednesday night still entertaining my guest. If I had to counter that with an upside, I guess it would be this: letting gloom settle in for a while is a great way to get a lot of tears out…which feels so good sometimes, especially when it’s been a while.
So point is, on Sunday I was crying a lot. Not that anyone saw that. I was supposed to spend part of the day with my sister and 21 month-old niece, two of the most luminescent lights in my life. But I called to say that the day was rough and I needed to be alone. I didn’t think being around my niece who is pure joy would be the best place for me to be…like I would “contaminate” her with my energy. So instead I went for a long hike (and cried), I went to a matinee (and cried), I gave extra attention to my two cats (and cried), I talked to a few close friends on the phone (and cried), I cleaned the house (and cried).
And then something amazing happened later in the day. My sister sent me a short video of my niece, who calls me Momo. She was just sending it to say hello, but my niece surprised us both. On the video, my sister asked my niece, “What’s Momo doing?” My niece didn’t give her typical response of “sleeping,” “playing,” or “home.” Instead, she paused, her face became worried and she said, “Cry.” When my sister, perplexed, asked, “She’s crying? Why is she crying?” my niece responded with, “Tears on it,” in the same worried tone. Then, as my sister prompted her, my niece went on to tell me she loved me, missed me, and that I should feel better. At the end her two little hands flew into the air, her smile broke out and my sister exclaimed, “All better!”
In talking about the video later that day, my sister told me that she hadn’t said anything about crying to my niece. We have no way of explaining why she would say that. That has to be a living, breathing example of interconnectedness right there! At least I’m going to believe it is. And believing in anything right now is not something for me to scoff at. My niece’s video has been more than enough to get me through these last few nights anyway…and I’m beginning to think that, in the end, that is part of the purpose of being connected at all.