It's Ok to Cry

Crying has become a trusted companion to my flexible emotional states.  I fist learned to really trust my tears sitting with my mom on her deathbed almost 30 years ago.  It happened while gently stroking her arm, with tears spilling over copiously and freely. 

Our family had a spoken agreement not to cry in front of her so she didn’t “catch on” that she was dying. Yet, there I was, sitting with her and crying openly.  There was no heaving, sobbing, face crunching, or story needed—simply an ease and freedom of the truth revealed.  I was sad, and my love and longing for my mom’s continued presence flowed heavily in that tender moment.

 My mom hadn’t spoken a sensible sentence in 28 days since her last seizure from a terminal brain tumor. Little did I know she would be gone in a few days.  As I sat at her bedside, gently stroking her arm, with great clarity and presence, mom calmly popped out of her incoherence while looking me in the eye and said, “It’s ok to cry”.  These final words of maternal wisdom stunned me with a gift I have treasured ever since.

 Turns out she knew she was dying. We were the ones fooling ourselves.

 That same easy free flow of tears came recently in the midst of a powerful moment where I found myself sitting in the midst of a painful truth, once again.  While the details of the story are not important, it is the recognition of a golden thread of truth acknowledged, and witnessed, that is striking.

 Each time I face a difficult truth, and the tears ensue, I am reminded of the extraordinary clarity that my mom displayed in the moment that she emerged into stark coherence that day on her deathbed. I am more clearly able to see the ways that I have been strategically deceiving myself and keeping myself armored in the midst of an outdated belief. 

In this tender moment, I felt a deep sadness, once again, oozing out of me with tears effortlessly falling steadily down my face.  It was the natural gentle stroking of the uncomfortable sensations in my torso that seemed to wake me up.  As if my brain leaped out of a dysfunctional stupor, similar to the moment of my mom’s clarity spontaneously emerged out of the malignant brain tumor’s terminal effects.  I told myself...”it’s ok to cry.”

Such tender words as I sat with and gently mothered my younger self on the deathbed of an outdated belief. Turns out, it was time for me to die, before I die – and I knew.

To die before you die is a profound Zen adage and quote from the Sufi poet masters that I often ponder in moments like this.  I am perpetually in awe of the death and rebirth energies available simultaneously in the experience of letting go.  Again and again, in the midst of the small deaths, I remember to nurture myself through the often-painful release, stay connected with my body, and open to the liberating vital life force that is inherently freed. 

 In the midst of so much personal and collective sorrow touching most of us in some way, it seems we are being called to turn toward our pain in new ways.  If we allow the old habits and strategies that no longer make sense or serve our authentic truth to fall away, we open the possibility for new pathways to emerge. 

 What are the ways that you are being called to be with something difficult or painful?  What judgments arise with the presence of your own tears?  What might need to be relinquished to feel a little more?  What are the sensations you notice in your body or the tender ways that you might nurture a difficult feeling? What possibility do you notice emerging out of new ways of being with yourself or another?

I’ve come to relish the creative energy born out of my own small deaths that leaves me feeling inspired to dance in life, with a little more weight in my bones, wiggle in my hips and soul in my step, while always trusting…

 It’s okay to cry.

 

 

Coming Out

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My brave daughter, Brae, just recently came out publicly that she is gay.  While it was not a surprise to me, it was a very powerful and pivotal moment in her life, as well as in mine.  Even though nothing outwardly has changed, the energy in the house is lighter.  Her eyes are shining more clearly, her flesh hangs more easily on her bones and her smile is a whole lot brighter. A true testament to a soul living her Truth.

Her stepping out has inspired me to look at the myriad of ways that I have hidden myself, both personally and professionally.  I am an introvert with extrovert tendencies.  My quietly observant personality, along with the “you are just a girl - stay quiet and look pretty, and all will be taken care of”, patriarchal messaging that I received growing up, has kept me hidden behind a cloak of invisibility in most areas of my life up to this point.

As I turn the corner on 50 years of living, I am finally coming to see through the veils of distortion -- revealing the truth of my purpose on this planet.  As I become more public through my private practice, teaching and facilitating community events, I am called to embody a confidence that, for most of my life, evaded me.  I feel myself stretching and growing in ways that are literally pushing me through the birth canal of my own becoming. It is exhausting, liberating, sometimes terrifying and profoundly enlivening all at the same time.  

I have been writing stories of my experience with all manner of death and rebirth that serve to capture the light in the midst of dark and difficult times.  This has become my life’s work, as well as the crucible of my own becoming.  I look forward to sharing with you as I begin to “come out” more and more through various channels – this blog being one.  My hope is that you may find resonance, and perhaps solace, through the gift of story, knowing that we are all so deeply connected on this journey of being human.  

So, even amidst the grace and difficulties that have been visiting our family’s doorstep as of late, this house is shining much brighter with the authentic truth of “Coming Out”.

How are you feeling inspired to come out to the world with your authentic self?

May we each dare to spark our candles of truth inside to shine more light into the world.

“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”