Last Wednesday started off as a normal morning - I turned the tea kettle on, rubbed my eyes and pet my anxious puppy as he nipped at my toes for attention. I was gearing up for a full day of coaching sessions when I got the call that a dear family friend had very suddenly passed away. He was the younger brother of one of my best friends. He was someone I had grown up with, an extension of my family. He was a light in our world, gone too soon at the ripe age of 35. I dropped the phone and fell to the floor sobbing. Total shock.
As the week progressed, this shocking tragedy brought together my expansive "chosen" family from adolescence - an entire multi-generational community of friends and families who have known one another for over 25 years. We hugged, we wept, we remembered, we honored, we ate, we laughed and more than anything we grieved as we said goodbye to our beloved loved one together.
Many of us have experienced the death of a loved one, or perhaps felt the impact of loosing someone we may not have even known that well at all. The death of my friend fell during the same week as the death of Robin Williams which devastated people all over the world. Around the globe, hearts were ripped open as people mourned this unexpected loss. Death seems to give us pause. Somehow it softens us. It puts things in perspective and startles us into remembering how precious life can be. It seems to say to us: "Wake Up!"
As we search for meaning during the time of tragedy and grief, I cannot help but be struck by a sense of healing that has the potential to emerge in these heart-open moments. As much as I cannot fully digest what has happened to my friend, his family and our community, I somehow also cannot shake a simultaneous sense of profound peace that feels present to me at this time. How is it that something so terrible can give us access to something so reassuring?
The answer is simple: LOVE.
Despite the struggle in the Middle East, random shootings in the Midwest and the heart-wrenching depression that swallowed the life of a comedic icon, I still believe that in our truest state we are made of love. I trust fully that we are actively evolving our human consciousness and that on a soul level, we are more familiar with the light than the dark.
Could it be that grief opens our hearts just enough to remember LOVE as our truth? Could it be that grief is clearing out Humanity's old story of separation, judgment, danger and lack as it silently softens the Collective Heart?
Grief is a profound teacher if we let it be. If we let the title waves of sadness pour through us, then they can awaken and cleanse our hearts. Death is a reminder of impermanence and is one doorway to re-awaken our ability to BE with what is in this moment. Death is here to remind us about LOVE. It invites us to connect to our soul's path and to one another right now, in this life. It disintegrates our walls of judgement, story and constriction that have kept us small and cocooned away from the authentic connection we so deeply desire. How come it takes the shattering of life for us to remember how precious and vulnerable we truly are? It's as though the grief over my friend's death has on some level cleared some out-dated residue of isolation, contraction and smallness in my heart. While I feel immense sadness, I can tell that I am more open. I am somehow more loving today. I am seeing through a renewed pair of eyes that offer compassion, tenderness, trust and peace towards myself and those around me. This is the gift of those who have left us. They afford us the blessing of loving more in this life, allowing our collective consciousness to evolve. Their departure opens the door for our healing.
As I process the meaning of these events, I begin to wonder how we might all soften ourselves to love a little bit more. What would it take to pick up the phone instead of feed our isolation? What would it do if we practiced receiving love in moments of tender vulnerability? What does it take for us to truly surrender?
I am reminded that each of us is whole. Each of our souls has an innate wisdom and is on the perfect path. Each of us is invited by forces greater than we can ever imagine to return to our natural state of love. To SHOW UP and nourish our sacred connections to ourselves and each other. Each of us is OK. We can handle our pain, we can lean into our fear a little more today than yesterday, we can stretch ourselves out of the darkness of comfort back into the light of love in some way today.
Personally, I feel changed, and in this change I have recommitted myself to live vulnerably, lovingly and in connection even more. We are made of love. We are here to love ourselves and each other. We are asked to do it now. And to ask for help doing it.
My invitation to you is that you courageously honor your soul's longing for connection, peace, joy, purity, liberation and love. It's safe to do so. It's time to do so. It's our responsibility to do so. You are fully blessed and always supported by the Great Mystery that seems to somehow always bring us back to love.
May you Shine On.