I just held her, my daughter, when we got home from school today.
I've never seen so many tears piled up on her little cheeks. Little eight-year-old's tears, releasing the pain of ten-thousand years of heartache. The reasons laughable to the rational, but a pain of eternal proportions to an empath. Thank God.
Wanted just to be held, but not too tightly, to be taken care of, to release this pain--someone to help her hold her heart-- sure it was broken and that she was losing the pieces through the cracks.
Oh, little one, I felt every wave of your pain. I felt your simple request for me to just sit with you, to open to you, to become you, as you let all of it fall out, until you were empty, until the pain became light enough to float away like bubbles, until we could let in the laughter.
You opened my heart, that I could sit with you and hold you, and not be afraid for you, just witness to your release.
A mid-wife to your birthing freedom--
for as long as it takes, I am there with you--
until the morning light breaks, and you are ready to open your eyes. I know it will come. We will see the sunrise together, in pure joy, in recognition that we made it through the night.
Oh my heart, you live outside of me as my little one, but you are not separate, are you? You've never been. And your journey to yourself has been my journey to myself. And the beauty.
It really could have never been written any other way, could it have?
Nothing would have been so precious, so important, so deeply moving, as to journey this together.
Wasn't it just a day or two ago, that I was brought to my knees, full of fear and pain that I had no idea could overtake me like that anymore?
You appeared to me in a dream, the morning when I went back to bed, because the pain was too much to bear awake. You were your little toddler self. I just stopped and marveled at you. Just held your gaze for as long as your wiggly little body would let me--examined every inch of your baby face framed with delicious blond curls, that I'd forgotten-- your body, all scrunched up little, in kissable softness, that body that had danced before me every day, and your effortless laughter and chatter, your playfulness that animated you, that guided your exploration of this funny new place you'd landed.
There you were, and you were enchanting.
Then I woke. And I was alone.
And wasn't it I who was giving birth--moving a pain through me as old as time? Letting go of which, threatened to annihilate the only identity I'd ever known.
Didn't I just need to be loved, just like you, right where I was? Held, until the sobs turned to laughter.
And I want you to know it happened for me, just like it happened for you.
I can bear testimony of oneness, what it feels like--and there is nothing pathetic or shameful in just letting yourself be held--in admitting your disappointment and defeat- the pain in your heart that keeps you begging for death.
I found my witnesses, my mid-wives--my courageous companions who swore to Love way past their fear of darkness--to open up the circle and put me right inside, and take me just as I Am. To cradle me there without question, for as long as it takes, for as long as it takes.
Closing their eyes, and somehow feeling the sensation that in cradling me, they were not bereft--that somehow they were being cradled too. But how is it possible?
And the experience of oneness, like nothing could ever substitute. Not even the greatest love story. This is an enduring Love.
Complete freedom to be, to allow, to honor, to dream, to create, to trust, to feel into a permanence of presence-- an experience, invisible, but shared--felt at the bottom of the heart and outward-- when the external world holds every part of you like water. A baptism that means something. A baptism that penetrates every atomic particle of Is-ness.
And in this experience the deepest truth revealed:
The Soul craves release.
The Soul craves release more than it wishes to travel down any empty road, more than it wishes to keep up appearances, fight any war, blast through any structures--more than it wishes to bring enlightenment to the world.
The Soul craves release. The Soul craves release. Nothing more.
And in the release, we just hold each other--and for a moment, the fear just fades.
And we meet as one, truly one, with nothing in the way.
And my heart finally understands, at least for this moment, that the tears, the pain, the falling down, are all part of the sincerest of prayers, to move anything and everything out of the way of experiencing our first glimpse of something real, unshakable, undeniable.
When I couldn't pretend anymore, when I had literally fallen to my knees and had surrendered to the fact that I may never get up again, that I wouldn't even begin to try one more time--I found myself lifted up, my heart held and pieced back together, and held firmly in place--the strength to begin again.
Dear daughter, rise up. I've got this one.
Perhaps the only prayer I will ever need, and I gift it to you:
Just hold me. Just love me right where I am. Just let my tears flow. Just join me in this amazing release, this amazing Grace. And let me feel my heart as yours, and yours as mine. And let me extend this gift unto you, my precious, precious other.