This is #10 in my Note to self newsletters. I post them here a few days later. Feel free to sign up below.
This morning I got an email from the girlfriend of a dear friend of mine. An ex-boyfriend of mine, in fact. In the email she told me that my friend received news yesterday that he will have to have to open heart surgery. His condition is grave if he doesn’t have the surgery. She went on to tell me about his state of mind, that he is taking it in his stride and that he was brave telling his family. Facts aside, she was reaching out to me so that I would reach out to him. “You’re his family” she said, “he would love to hear from you”.
And then, I lost it. The word family and all the love that I have for him overwhelmed me to tears. He was once my ex-boyfriend but lost that title a long time ago and is quite simply one of my closest friends. We have always remained close but lately, ‘life’ has been getting in the way. We’ve been ending our conversations without any concrete plans to catch up “you’ll have to come up and visit” he will say. “Yes, definitely, I’ll come up” I’ll respond and then we say our goodbyes and another month goes by.
Next month. I’ll organize a time for next month I think.
But, he is my family (we always say to one another “I love you like a sister/brother) and with this news suddenly nothing mattered more than that. I was also so grateful for his girlfriend to have the capacity and emotional intelligence to understand our connection. It runs so much deeper than anything physical.
And, then I wondered. Why did anything matter more than that fact? Why did my job, why did my social life, why did the ‘right time’ – why did any of those things matter more?
Why do we put so much in the way of some connections, and not others? Reward, I think. In life, when there is nothing at stake but our personal time, we’re always weighing up what we’ll get out of it to what we’ll lose.
Later, I was on facebook and an acquaintance posted an old photograph of her mother with a message of her passing. She thanked her for teaching her about love. I felt sad for her but I felt this overwhelming feeling of connection to her pain, and then I left her message. It’s the only time I’ve actually really reached out to her personally and, I felt sad that it was for this reason. What reason did I need beforehand?
Shortly after, I opened the newsletter from one of my favorite bloggers & yogis’ Yeah Dave where he had just watched the inspiring video of Zach Sobiech. Zach recently passed away from cancer. He was 19 years old, but he left an incredible legacy for his family and friends, and a true message of how to live life for all of us..
I had watched the video the day after he passed, on May 20th, and was reduced to tears. Not from his passing but how beautifully he chose to live his life.
In the video Zach says “Don’t wait to know you’re going to die, before you learn to live”
Yes, and don’t we need to learn time and time again, how to live?
Earlier in the day my sister sent me a sweet picture of my nephew sleeping, face planted on his pillow, mouth agape; the book that he had been reading, and fell asleep to, was wide open. I don’t know that I can love that boy enough and it filled me up this morning and, you guessed it; Tears.
On any given day this is the undulation of life; fear, loss, opportunity, tenderness, loneliness, connection, joy. And, we manage our emotions accordingly. But, I wonder, what is it we are really managing? Our time, our losses, our pride, in convenience…..?
In Dave Rominelli’s newsletter today he talked about emotions, and that they are what awaken the soul. I believe that. When we truly allow ourselves to openly feel our emotions; to shed a tear, for loss or for love. When we let go enough to laugh uncontrollably, to cry without apology, to dance ecstatically, to be the truest expressions of ourselves whether that be loud or soft. When we give ourselves over to a deeper connection with someone else doesn’t it only reflect back to us what we have to offer the world? And, shouldn’t this then, become the point of our lives? Isn’t this the way we should all commit to living?
I’m really asking.
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