August 3, 2013

How Tears & Hugs Can Bring Us Home.

Some days you just need to cry.

You just need to let your tears flow down your cheeks—emotional molecules leaking from your heart-space and from your throat.

The lump in your throat is worst right before you finally break.

You feel it build and you force yourself to swallow it down—your emotion becoming a clogged dam, now nestled deeply inside the base of your neck.

And then the dam bursts.

At first it’s horribly inconvenient, but then it’s surprisingly glorious—this release, this letting go.

And then, more than anything, you’re thankful because you feel arms wrapping around your shoulders.

You feel a damp patch underneath your cheek, where your tears have collected onto the fabric of his shirt, and for a few moments you get the distinct impression that the fabric of your hearts has been stitched together by these tears—a fine, golden thread, temporarily weaving out from the space between your chest and his, winding its way around you both.

Stitched together through compassion and concern—hugs.

Hugs are great, aren’t they?

Warmth and pressure reminding you subconsciously of your mother’s womb (made even tighter by a twin sister’s foot pressed against your fetal outline).

And like your warming and tender heart, you sense also a thawing in your stiffened shoulders (extensions of your heart) from the sunlight as it streams through the window behind where the two of you stand, encasing you and creating a singular shadow.

And then, for some reason, you let him go—even though you don’t really want to—and you look past him and out your big, front picture window.

You observe how the tall, green grasses that grow outside of it aren’t actually one color but many—different shades morphing into this blended yellow-green that soothes your tired, swollen eyes.

And you suddenly feel supported by nature.

You feel the ground underneath your feet, rooting you into to your present moment.

And then—whoosh!—you’re jolted wide awake, and you almost fall over, because a miniature person—not even waist-height—bombards your leg with her own tight embrace and—though tiny—her heart is strong and empathetic to your tears.

You reach for her and she smiles up at you, her face slightly dimmed by the way that the light falls onto her from the window.

And your light-colored wooden floor glows from this green-filtered sun as it passes through the tall grasses and then through the double-pane glass, and finally onto the surface where all of you stand.

You look from his face to her significantly smaller one, and the heavy water has drained from your heart, and is no longer able to drown you. It didn’t leak out through your eyes either—you couldn’t have gotten that many tears out in several weeks much less in a few minutes.

No, it drained out because you’re instantly and acutely aware that your heavy heart wasn’t a thick, stone-carved bowl seemingly made to collect rivers of emotion, but rather it’s a sponge.

You’re porous and pliable and able to absorb more, and thank God because you know that you’ll have more tears coming.

But for this moment, in this calmly lit space, you’re not alone and there’s relief in that.

There’s release in your tears and relief in your hugs and there’s an ever-willing part of you that understands that somehow beauty and magic always follow these moments where you feel hollow and worn and older than your years.

You’ll emerge yet again—the butterfly from the chrysalis, the phoenix from the ashes—always things that not only fly, but that soar to new and better heights.

And you know that it will rain again, and you think it might even pour, but you don’t care because, right now, the sun is shining and the clouds are busting apart and you have a daughter who hugs your legs and and a husband who kisses your cheeks dry—and, in the end, that’s all you want.

You want to have things that are worth crying over and people who hold onto you.

You want joy and tranquility, but you understand the cost at which they generally arrive—because life isn’t one-dimensional or flat.

It’s colorful, and it’s complex—just like you.

You feel sacred and you feel whole (ironically, because you momentarily collapsed into pieces).

And you know that you’re greater than tears and greater than pain, and greater, too, than happiness and bliss.

You begin to understand that the fine, golden thread that you felt weaving between your shirts wasn’t temporary after all (actually, it’s the only thing throughout all of this that’s real)—it’s the heart stuff that connects us, that binds us, and that makes us all impermanent and whole.

It’s love.

Not the kind of love that holds you close in its embrace, but something different and much more difficult to explain.

But it’s there and you know it, because you felt it.

You felt it when your eyes were clouded with your tears because you don’t need vision to locate it. As it turns out, maybe we need to become blinded from time to time—so that we can finally see.

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Ed: Sara Crolick

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