The slow and steady slide into dark, into murky.
I remember knees buckling, heart splitting, breath catching between a word and a thought.
I remember melting into a puddle of the person I once was.
I remember sadness. (And I know you do too.)
We have been sad. We have felt the foundation crack under the weight of insurmountable sorrow. Slumped forward, head in our hands, we have been broken and frightened and completely alone.
We avoid sad.
We swallow the lump, we crack a joke, we chug a beer, we smoke some pot, we watch TV, we go to sleep. We become accustomed to the tightness in our chest and the numbness in our stomach. We choose the numbness; there is safety there.
But the numbness is killing us, incinerating us from the inside out. Our bodies are breaking; our minds, detonating. We pop the pills and go to work while the emotional eruption that is continually suppressed spits toxins into our veins and threatens the integrity of our cells.
We are dying of suppressed sadness. We are drowning in diversions. We are so terrified of embracing the sad that we constantly look away. Everyday, we look away.
The result is our planet, in a state of decay.
I reclaim my planet.
I see myself swimming upstream, through the weeds and against the current. Reaching the calm waters that soothe and sustain. Feeling safe again, floating in my Mother’s womb.
I allow the barriers to disintegrate, the facade to crumble, the numbness to fade until all that remains is the crimson heart that feels and hurts and breaks open, rendering me (and you) so very vulnerable and beautifully human.
I reclaim my beauty.
There is so much beauty in sadness. Because sadness is real. It cannot be faked or shaped or dressed up. It is crude and fervent and powerful. It brings us to our knees and makes us heave and swell and sob and churn until we are raw. Until we are ready.
For the stillness.
There is an infinite source of resilience and strength that follows every sadness. It waits until we are drained and hollow before making itself known. Like the luminescence that lingers after the downpour, it waits until there is a space. A pause. A silence. Then it bathes us in colour, floods us with wonder.
It replenishes our stores of hope and faith until we can breathe again. Until the mist lifts and we can see again. Until we can take another step, dance another dance, ask another question, take another chance.
Suddenly we find ourselves standing tall, shaken and unsettled, but immersed in the moment and more sure-footed than ever before. We no longer fear the diagnosis, the circumstance, the bad news, the outcome. We no longer fear at all.
There is nothing to fear about sadness. Without real sadness, there can be no real joy.
Let us be sad for the child without food, the woman without a coat, the dog without a home. Let us be sad for the friend with a broken heart, the patient with a scary chart, the bird with a broken wing. Let us be sad for the disintegrating health of our forests, of our oceans, of our skies. Let us be sad for the poverty-stricken families, the war-torn countries, the abused and the lonely and the desperate and the lost.
Let us cry and ache and break and feel. Let the sadness strip us, rip us, and pummel us into the ground until it is time to heal.
Let us be wide open. When we are wide open, love rushes in. Love rushes out. We become a vehicle of love and compassion. We become goodness itself.
Let us not look away, run away, stay away. With eyes open, heart broken, let us stand. Let us reach out our hand.
I reclaim my sadness.
I don’t want to be cheered up or picked up or distracted. I don’t want to hear your joke, answer your question, or make up excuses. I want to see what needs to be seen and feel what needs to be felt. I want the waves to crash over me and leave me dripping wet.
Let me be sad. Let me be human and godlike and childlike. Let me be present and vulnerable and afraid. Let me weep for the world and strive for redemption. Let me find my rainbow, my strength under the sorrow. Let me help you find yours.
Let me remember that in order to rise above the misery I must first slide into the dark, murky depths of it.
This week's affirmation: I reach out my hand whenever I can.