(Last year’s love letter: A Homage to Life.)
It is the last morning of the year, the sky is bright with the promise of snow and I can feel the pause of my words as my fingers gently tap the keys, as if they were feeling too shy to be set free.
So it is another year comes to an end and so it is that I must inspect each bundle of what I learned and be willing to part with story of how it all went down, leaving only the wisdom behind to find a home in my bones and to inform how the path next unfolds.
This sounds simple, but oh, how we humans want to cling to the trauma of our lessons and live (as if by default) from the place of our wounds—we forget that any other kind of living is even possible. Among the armoury of what I acquired this year through various battles is the understanding that we have the ability to re-pattern, reset and re-train ourselves to choose the place we breathe from—but first, before we do anything, we must digest our sorrow and let it be what it is.
For the first time in such a long time, I allowed grief to rise up without trying to change her or make her something different. I didn’t try to numb her out or ignore her or deny her—I just let her be. I spent many days and nights witnessing my own humanity, and in the act of bearing witness to the shadowy parts of myself, my eyes not once closing to shield myself from what I saw, I also invited into my heart the ache of the ones I love, the pain of the ones I struggle with—and the agony of the world around me, too.
In this place—the pumping, thumping, pounding place of my undeterred oh-so-powerful heart—I prayed.
I prayed for peace and kindness and forgiveness and I prayed for the dissolution of separation and the strength to surrender. I prayed for the ability to transmute and transform and transcend and I prayed for the light to shimmer everywhere she was needed.
And so it was, my grief and I, side by each, in every moment. She wanted to witness joy and song and laughter and instead of tucking her away, I invited her to sit with me, in each moment. Through truth-telling and continuing to open in the face of fear, ever so slowly, I noticed her sharpness soften; I noticed parts of her fade and how we were (and are) becoming one. I noticed that she has been my greatest gift and in my past attempts to banish her, I was refusing my own authentic heart.
The pile of bundles grows smaller as I continue to sort through them and the words alchemize into questions that I must sit with before we cross over:
What to leave behind and what to take with me? What needs to be burned and what needs to be set aside for further recovery? What no longer serves and what is integral to the journey that awaits? What holds me back and what propels me forward? How do I want to show up in this world and how much of my heart am I willing to dedicate to doing so? Am I ready, as I can ever be, to stand up and be counted?
This medicine runs deep and as it was before, so it becomes something new now: I am grateful for it all.
I leave behind all that no longer serves who I am to be; I take with me the love I have fought to wear as my own and as I step over tonight, I give thanks to Great Spirit for all that is to come.