I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world.
There was a moment recently whereupon my heart broke wide open. And I tell you, it literally filled me with light and love and joy. That moment shifted my baseline of who I am. I understand now what it means to walk down the path of enlightenment. I’m further down the path today. Mindfulness and meditation have transformed me into the kindest, gentlest iteration of me yet, bringing me closer to the truth of me. For that I’m so grateful.
It’s provided me the space and strength to practice feeling hard things and doing hard things. I still have a long way to go. I oftentimes still get stuck in the anxiety that arises from the unknowns, the sadness that arises from endings and loss, the anger that arises from someone hurting me. Sometimes it can feel like a dark place.
I was recently coping with an ending, and because humans are messy, it was messy. It was filled with texts and emails and lunch and phone calls full of hurts, awkwardness, warmth, laughter, silences, vodka, and tears over several days. I was a complete mess. Because that’s part of my charm.
I was tired of being a mess, I don’t like who I am in that mess. I was tired of being in this space of anxiety and sadness. I’m on a quest to view life as opportunities to do things differently, so that I can find myself in another space. I found myself in the middle of band practice. I love my band. I love making music with this motley crew of quirks and intelligence and kindness. Making music with people is magical and vulnerable and holy for me.
Before our next song, I looked down at my phone and I saw an email. My heart did what it’s always done–it dropped. I could feel the familiar start of the roller coaster ride of sadness and anxiety once I’m hooked on the storylines about this person and this ending. And I made a conscious decision to do something different. I remembered I had a choice.
I got off that ride. In a split second, I knew I could soak up the storylines and suffering, and weep internally while powering through the last hour of band practice feeling battered and broken. I knew I could do that. I’ve done it before. And gone home to weep more. I had every right to feel battered and broken. But it is time to do something different.
I chose to open my heart to softness, open my heart to these wonderful, accepting, kind bandmates who show up for me every week even though I can’t count, people I am so grateful for. I chose to open my heart to the miracle and joy and peace that comes with making music with people, connecting with them to do something I find so magical and fills me. So I closed my eyes and breathed, and drummed with them for an hour with my heart bursting full of love and gratitude. I was in the music. I was in them. The music was in me. They were in me.
I could feel my heart opening wide and expanding. I could feel these people, their kindness and thoughtfulness and acceptance. I could feel the notes and beat and melodies. I could feel the magic and love and gentleness fill my heart, literally.
And in that band room, as my heart literally expanded, was my spiritual awakening. I realized I was so distraught because I just want to be loved by someone I cared for deeply, someone who is such a perfect fit for me in so many ways. I just want to love someone fiercely.
Wait, I do. How fortunate am I that I have so many people I love deeply and they love me deeply, who are perfect for me in so many ways. How fortunate am I to be able to do things that fill my soul with people I love. Yes, these aren’t romantic or sexual loves and feelings, but my God, these true connections are intimate in their own ways. I am bursting with all that and surrounded by it all. How grateful I am to have so many people in my life to share deep, intimate love.
So I did something different. I opened my heart up to be soft, I didn’t tense up and try to resist the hurt or pain. It became one of those a-ha moments that resets my baseline in my spiritual journey. This spiritual awakening had nothing to do with him or dating or relationships. It is about softening into life and occupying this space gently, mindfully, spiritually. It is about mindfully choosing to do things differently.
This was about choosing love, choosing light, choosing peace. This was about deciding not to choose darkness, sadness, despair. This was about choosing to open my heart to accepting and feeling it all, and you know what? The love and light brightened the darkness and lit the way for Grace and love to walk in. My heart has broken open wide to this world, never to be closed again.