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Heart Heavy

My heart has been heavy as of late.

Heavy with the loss of a close friendship I thought I was building over this past year; heavy with the sadness of past close friendships that fell away that have been reopened in the wake of these fresh feelings of hurt and sorrow; heavy with the collection of matters I’ve been invested in over the past few months in regards to suicide awareness and prevention, hospice work, and the class on racism I’ve been involved in; and heavy with the ongoing heartbreak of the people – my people.

Tonight, I was planning on going to a public talk on the UM campus on the topic of missing and murdered indigenous women. Then, on my way home from work this afternoon, I thought to myself: My heart is simply too heavy and sore and tender to absorb any more right now. I think I need to stay home tonight and practice self-care. So that’s what I intend on doing.

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In regards to the friendship I’m currently in heartache over, I’ve come to realize – after much processing back and forth – that there is a way for me to keep my heart open to this person while also distancing myself from them. My work right now is centered around letting go. And gosh, it sure is hard.

While I will remain open to this person, should they decide to reach out to me on their own (which seems highly unlikely), I need to stop trying to connect interpersonally with this person. I’ve exhausted myself in being the only one reaching out; the only one trying to have open and honest communication; the only one who seems invested in furthering our relationship. Despite how close we were getting, how hopeful I was that I’d found someone to cultivate a deeper connection with, this person has recently bailed almost entirely on our friendship. And it hurts. It hurts more than it seems like it “should.”

The work of letting go is sometimes excruciatingly difficult. And a big part of this work for me right now, is allowing my feelings to be just as they are, without trying to fix them or placate them with niceities or cover over them with dispersion and distraction techniques. I keep telling myself: It’s okay that this freekin sucks right now. It’s okay that your heart hurts and that you’re full of sorrow. And then I follow those reminders with this one: Try not to let your temporary feelings of hurt imprint a lasting impression on getting close with others. Don’t let this be what shuts your heart down.

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This morning, I wrote this on my writer’s facebook page:

The work I’ve done on myself, I’ve not done for myself alone. The work I continue to do – will continue to do – is for the people. For all those I affect in my wake; for my ancestors; for future generations; for all those I will never know.

And I am humbled, honored, and grateful for this drive forward – this mission in which I’ve inherited from a long line of spiritual healers, on a mission to assist with the great heartbreak of the people.

________

The practice – my practice – continues.

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Posted by on December 5, 2018 in Everyday Practice

 

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In Mourning

In loving memory of Alison Matthews, who passed away on July 3rd, 2017

and her husband David, who passed away last night on August 6th, 2017

 

A string of sangha friends have died in only one-month’s time – a period of mourning is at hand.

Breathing in, I see myself as a rain cloud.
Breathing out, I allow myself to grieve this sacred sorrow.

What am I to understand from all of this loss? 3 friends in the last month, gone. 2 friends this time last year, gone.

This life is extinguishable, yes.
Those I love will continue to die, yes.
Right now there is pain and heartache, yes.
At some point, this pain will pass, yes.
This life is precious, yes.
This day today is a gift, yes, most assuredly.

 

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Here’s an excerpt from a speech David gave last year:

“I have a very strong connection to Martin Luther King, Jr. He was the speaker at my commencement in 1965 at Oberlin College. I lived through that troubled time of the ‘60’s, and through all the years since, with Martin Luther King as a powerful guide…

This individual man who was called by God, opened himself fully to universal mind. Two months before his assassination in April of 1968, in a Sunday sermon, he spoke out the summary of his life, and what he knew to be important. It is the antithesis of despair, and the call to each of us to make a useful life.

He said:
Once in awhile I think about my own death and my own funeral, not in a morbid way, but I ask, “what would I want someone to say?” If any of you are here when it is my time to meet my end, don’t make it a long funeral. And if someone gives the eulogy, ask them not to make it too long. Ask them not to mention the Nobel Peace Prize – that’s not important. Ask them not to mention all the other awards, or where I went to school. Those things are not important. On that day I would like someone to mention that Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to give his life in the service of others. On that day I’d like someone to say I tried to love somebody, say that I tried to feed the hungry, and clothe the naked. I want someone to say Martin Luther King, Jr. was a drum major, a drum major for justice, a drum major for peace; say that I tried to be a drum major for righteousness. And all those other shallow things won’t matter. I won’t have anything to leave behind- no money, none of the fine things of life. But all I want to leave behind is a committed life. And that’s all I want someone to say.”

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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