It is said that the people we have in our lives are here for a ‘reason, a season or lifetime’. This expression rings so true to me. Many have left my life whether by death or circumstance and at times I have felt as though my heart would break in two. Actually I think my heart is simply an accumulation of cracks, more than even I realise. And yet, I also reflect on the words by the poet/song-writer, Leonard Cohen, ‘There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in’.
How often, do we explore why someone landed on our doorstep; entered, re-entered or left our life completely; brushed past us in the street with a smile; or picked us up and dusted us off without question or the desire for something in return? Oh, the times I have been so loved and cared for without recourse would fill a tome. And I feel so privileged that so many have stepped into my world even if only for a ‘season’.
In my home I have dedicated a whole wall to photographs saying “Thank you. I love you.” It is my ‘gratitude’ wall. I constantly look at it (sometimes with a heavy heart and sometimes with a joyous one) and enquire as to why that person actually paid me a visit. What did they awaken within me? What beauty did they bring to my spirit? Why do I love them and what was their greatest gift to me? Sometimes I also wonder – What was ‘their reason’ for finding me?
People to me, my friends, are as much a part of my make-up as my DNA. So when I lose them it hurts…..it really hurts. It is said that the depth of sadness is equal to the depth of the love. Sometimes I am a little sad and at other times I feel as though I shall shrivel up and dissolve with the pain.
On the other hand, I also realise that in the words of the great philosopher Krishnamurti, ‘Sadness is a vain attempt to possess’. One has to ‘let go’ to free the spirit of binding attachment.
And what is pain? Teaching yoga opens me to understand every small nuance of pain. I conclude through my own experience that most of the physical pain we feel is a camouflage for an emotional issue. Physical pain takes our focus away from the self-enquiry, from confronting ourselves and bringing ourselves ‘home’. Of understanding our sadness. What is it I am not observing?
Of course so much of our ‘pain’ is probably unconscious tension, years of it, accumulating over time…..and perhaps the only way to rid ourselves of it is to be ‘aware’ of this very fact. Perhaps the issues will not surface for us to recognise them exactly, but will surface enough for us to accept them? Only an idea really!
And immediate emotional pain? Well, ‘fear’ is a word that resonates with me here. And again that goes back to self-enquiry. What have I experienced in the past that has come back into this moment to give me grief, to haunt me? Is it desolation, abandonment, isolation?
I have also come to learn that in order to let of the waves of sadness and to understand that ‘this too shall pass’, is to sit with the sadness for a little while (after all one is only human), and then to revert the experience to a more positive picture preferably peppered with snippets of love and laughter. Likened to dissolving grains of sugar into a glass of warm water. The drink of memories will always remain sweet.
I believe the ‘unsaid’ needs to be ‘said’, even if just ‘quietly’…….
‘Thank you. I love you’
P.S. This photograph is of my 9-year-old nephew, Thomas. I think he is perhaps an old soul who has come to visit me. Who knows?