Last week was rough for our country and me in particular. On the one hand, these are dark and disturbing times. On the other hand, these are times of great awakening and enlightenment. Rather than mutually exclusive, they seem to be an intensely interdependent duality of the world’s collective psyche. It’s frightening to think of where we as a society are headed. I know I was so emotionally and spiritually wrenched that I lost my way for a little bit. I slipped right into the darkness of helpless fear and despair for my beautiful adult African-American children, all three of whom were out in the world somewhere. Somewhere I wasn’t. Places where I can’t protect them and really, would I be able to protect them if I were present when they were in the same situations as Alton Sterling or Philando Castile?
An open heart leaves fewer places for me to hide. In all honesty, I’ve shielded myself from feeling and reacting too strongly to wrongful deaths of African-Americans since George Zimmerman was acquitted of Trayvon Martin’s murder. That hit me so hard. I was devastated at the time which was well before this latest renaissance phase of my spiritual growth and awakening. Before my conscious commitment to live a heart-centered life that has led to incredible gifts of discovery like my newfound love of yoga and rediscovery of creative expression through writing. Heart-centered living that has brought me healthy, deeper connections with myself and people in my life. And last week, heart-centered living that cracked my heart wide open with the pain and anguish of identification, the despair of fear and helplessness connected to this dark and disturbing aspect of my country, my home. I was wracked with emotions, alternately crying and trying to calm myself down. At one point in the middle of the night on Wednesday, I thought about drinking. I wanted a drink. Then a friend sent a text, minutes after those thoughts started swimming in my head. She asked if I needed to talk.
Thank God for her and so many other friends. Friends who came and found me in the dark. Friends who sat in the dark, listened to me, empathized when they couldn’t relate, and commiserated when we found common ground. Friends who just sent me love, hugs, and support. Friends who pulled me back into the light of hope. Thank you for helping me through the night. The rest of the week got better, despite the horrific tragedy of the slain Dallas Police officers Brent Thompson, Lorne Ahrens, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael J. Smith, and Michael Krol. Even with the media and people I know, somehow insinuating that heinous act was the work of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
In addition to pulling me from the darkness, my friends helped me move on to the business of living my life. I had my second garage sale this past weekend in another part of the county. I spent the night before the yard sale at a girlfriend’s house, who has a jacuzzi and loves old school Hip Hop music. That was very relaxing and fun. The next morning I had friends show up for the yard sale, including my amazing spiritual advisor and my best friend, Dawny. I have to tell you that when Doris, my advisor hugged me that morning, it was a long, loving hug. She whispered that she wanted to say something to me, her voice was thick with emotion. You see, she has thirty years of phenomenal sobriety, she also happens to be White. I knew what she wanted to say, but I wouldn’t let her. As I held her tightly, my own voice overcomes with emotion I told her, “You do not owe me an apology. You don’t.” I whispered this fiercely and with love. It was not her job to apologize and I meant it. This is the love that pulls me into the light of hope.
Before I wrap up this blog I want to go back to my earlier statement about being frightened of where we are headed as a society. It’s not the first time I’ve expressed this sentiment in one form or another, but these are dark and disturbing times. These are also times of great awakening and enlightenment. I don’t know where we are headed, but I know my path and where I am headed. That’s all I really can control and focus on. I can also have faith that I don’t have to know the answer to that sentiment. I just know I have hope and faith for us all.
P.S. For those who were curious, I raised $235.00 at the 2nd-yard sale! A total of $859.00 from both yard sales in two weeks! I also received an additional check in the mail from a childhood friend back East and an anonymous donation sent directly to my home studio, Bright Yoga! I’ve raised $2035.00 so thank you from the bottom of my big open heart!!!