Have you ever had a group of people go around and tell you what they like about you and what they wish for you for the coming year? In late March I was gifted the honor of assisting my longtime friend Deva Munay with her singing bowl healing workshop at Esalen Institute in Big Sur. It was an amazing workshop and it happened to be my birthday and 38 of my new found friends did just that.
I couldn’t believe my good fortune…after two loooong years not only to be at such a physically stunning place but to feel the outpouring of love from my new friends. Like most of us, I was still reeling from a period of solitude as well as loneliness and isolation. As I got off the plane the salt air hit my body and I knew this would be a godsend of a week of healing. But I didn’t think of the loneliness and isolation that night. Instead, I sat on my purple yoga mat and I listened. For the first time in over two years, I was among a group of people! God knows we all don’t take that for granted anymore. Loving people. Beautifully flawed people like me. Perfectly imperfect people. People silently saying, “I love you” through their eyes and their words to me. I held back the tears of joy until I could no longer and I finally let them roll down.
I started thinking. Why do we obsess over the very few people, the naysayers, the insecure, the withholders of love who dictate our thoughts when so many love us? Why do we lash out so quickly or flee so fast when someone is unkind to us? Or worse, ghosts us? Why do we go into our diatribe of “we must be bad” or, “we must be unworthy”? I believe we all have at least one person in our past, present or future. One upon whose proverbial ankles we are secretly hanging, begging, “please love me”.
But today I listen. I am quiet. Today I let the bumps and bruises that have enslaved my soul go.
I realize, this week instead of jewelry I am polishing the mirror of my heart.
This yearning. This longing. This collective pain we have all gone through has the ability to burst our hearts wide open or it has power to hurt and isolate more. Someone once said, grief is unexpressed love. In reality, I feel we are all grieving losses on a soul level of the past two years. Some grieving many more than that.
A headline caught my eye yesterday. It was about the 18 year old shooter in Buffalo, New York. The title of the article was about how loneliness and isolation were at the forefront of his life as they looked for answers. Apparently, his mother even reached out asking kids to be his friend and call him. Sadly, we can’t bring those ten beautiful souls back who lost their lives to the senseless act. And of course, what happened is full of complication and other factors. But I can only help but wonder, what if this young man had friends and acquaintances expressing to him how loved he was? Long before the gun arguments and politics there is only one thing.
We are all not only looking for, but needing love. Needing a sense of belonging.
I worry about our society, especially the young people that are growing up in the “new norm”…..that of loneliness and isolation. And how as a nation do we turn around this sad paradigm of horrific and senseless killings?
Today, and not a day later, let’s show someone, even a stranger, especially a stranger down on their luck, “I love you” through our simple acts of kindness. How, you ask? It’s as simple as looking someone in the eye and smiling. Holding the door for someone. Someone slumped over in the park. Don’t look away. Give them water. Show them someone cares. Show them that you care. Pay it forward if you are able and help someone buy something when they can’t. There are a million ways to show someone they matter, and they don’t even cost money.
This all may sound “Pollyanna” to you. You may think it’s only the tip of the iceberg, but maybe, just maybe, I would like to believe we could eventually go from tip of the iceberg to tipping point.
Shall we galvanize? Start a movement? If you want to join us, please email your acts of kindness and we will spread the word far and wide.
Listen: Can you hear it?
YOU are loved.