When a blissful life is met with shocking hardship, there is a ripple effect out from the heart of that life. We are not islands with seas between us. We are all connected by love, and by pain.
I have heard that compassion is at the heart of Buddhism. When we feel another's pain, as our own we wish them freedom from "our" pain. It is no longer a singular pain. It reaches out into the lives of others. I watched this amplified within the tragic death of my Sister. As the hub of the wheel, all links to and from Kathie's life came through me.
I found myself trying to be strong for those around me. I suppose in some way this was controlling. I wanted to control the pain, control the loss, control others perceptions, control... control... control!!!!!!
The shear nature of suicide is in fact control. The victim is controlling the ending of their life. "Not another day God! The bus stops here." It is a blaring metaphor for the illusion, our minds would have us believe that the way to change, is through force. I know this is not only ineffective but diminishing to the opportunities life presents us.
Immediately following finding Kathie's body there was a slough of doings... closing accounts, contacting friends, designing the Memorial Service. For one month I was busy... busy controlling details. My heart was left in the thick fog of the aftermath of deep sadness. Literally left there to wait. Wait on the doings. Finally a month after I heard of my Sisters death I allowed my sorrow to come forth. I knew I had abandoned myself, and frankly even those around me. By hiding behind the control of my emotions I was not allowing the natural beauty which comes with observing the pain, and with being transparent for others to observe.
Transparent vulnerability was in deed a new concept for me. One day while standing in the kitchen with a dear friend, I lost all control. No more waiting for the right time. There it was spilling all over the kitchen counter like a flood of emotion. I laid my whole chest down on the counter and sobbed. It felt as if at that point I didn't have the strength to stand up and cry. My beloved friend had seen me cry maybe three times and never quite like this. The wonderful beauty in it was when I was finished, I felt closer to her than ever. I felt I allowed her to see right into the deepest corners of my heart. I had hidden there, alone, for so long.
I know through my Spiritual work, and practice you can not be controlling and accepting in the same moment. I also believe, practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. With this I realized I was practicing isolation my whole life. Controlling , not allowing my loved ones to know me. Most of all not loving myself enough or trusting in my own natural beauty to live a transparent life.
This is a lesson I shall never forget. I now bring it into my work, my practice and my daily living.
There are times I am strong and there are times I am weary and being Human, Is a beautiful, fulfilling dance when we let go and move with the wind of changes in our life. Never has this been more apparent than now.