September 25, 2016

Truth and Beauty

My recent posts have been raw: practicing in the midst. And this rawness prompted a long-distance friend to inquire about my well-being. Truth: I'm grieving. Beauty: I'm awake. One year ago, my mom died. Though her death was not shocking, it was sudden. There was a great deal to processhead and heartwithin a short week. I've considered this past year my "year of healing" from the primal loss of my mother. And in the midst of healing, a close friendliving with stage-4 cancertook a turn for the worse, not in a sudden way, but in a prolonged way. He died three weeks ago. He was one of my best spiritual friends.

Grief is an interesting place. It's raw, tender, and strange: like my insides are on my outside. It's also vivid, poignant, and alive: like my heart-mind is open and awake. There's truth and beauty in grief. As much as I want it to go away (right now!), I understand that resistance doesn't lead to true healing. To heal, I must feel everything, not all at once, but in consistent, compassionate ways. I must allow for heartbreak, foggy mind, and vulnerability. I must meet myself and others with kindness.

These last few weeks, I realized something anew: we're all in the midst. In the midst of wonder and sadness; gain and loss; healing and pain; truth and beauty. Whether "in the midst" because of world circumstances or daily life, we all experience grief, just as we all feel love and joy. And we have a choice: we can numb, distract, and resist; or we can inhabit our lives fully, with honesty and gentleness. We can join hands, again and again, especially in the midst. We can live, love, and grieve as a caring and compassionate community.
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  1. Joy,
    I am so sorry about the loss of you close friend, and I understand the grieving of your mother. You mark the date with hours, than days, than months, than years, but it never gets easier.
    The truth you speak about how we are all in the midst is so true. Beauty and pain are so connected, especially f we are open and willing to live with a whole heart.
    Thank you so much for you words. Thank you so much for this place where I can come and spend some time to read and reread your wisdom.

    xoxox, Cathy

    1. Cathy, I take in your love, kindness, and gratitude. I take it into my heart. And then I reflect it back to you: thank YOU for your truth, insight, and realness. Thanks for being a dear friend on the path. Hugs to you!

  2. Many hugs, Joy. Hang in.

    1. You, too, Dana. You, too. Hang in. Hugs from me!