“If we can see our way through the uncertainty of feeling lost, unexpected callings often present themselves. One stirring example is the story of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, (1954-2006), who began her carrier as an accomplished Viola player. While on tour in Europe, her viola was stolen. Though she could have replaced it, the theft threw her into a state of feeling lost and uncertain. She stopped playing for a while and then began to work with the only instrument she had left, her voice. Though she had sung before, she devoted herself to the instrument within her, and in two years, became the luminous mezzo-soprano she was meant to be. “
This was taken from the book Seven Thousand ways to Listen by Mark Nepo.
Can you imagine what her parents told her when she refused to replace the viola?
Do you imagine they said, “Oh well honey, just SING!”
I think they probably said the opposite.
If you have ever had a child who has given up a sport or an activity that you thought they were good at and said something to them, it was most likely something negative.
I believe that it’s a Neil Diamond song that has lyrics that say, “and being lost feels like coming home.”
Yes, BUT only if we surrender to the LOSTness of feeling loss and feeling lost.
When this happens, we cannot command the stars or the planets to make things the way they were.
A parent who loses a child cannot imagine a world without them. Yet, they often have other children who love and need them and have to find a new path to future joy.
Only time can show the way to weave life and light into the numbing darkness.
It is the acceptance of the dark time, however, and the ability to stay present with our emotions and not push them away that makes room for light when the time is right.
We cannot “will” the time to be right.
Over the course of our life, we all experience loss. This is a fact of life…loss happens and will continue to happen.
We can probably count the things we have lost and can still feel the pangs of pain.
We are less adept at counting out the things we have found.
We are woefully inadequate at sustaining the buoyant feelings of joy at the levels we can sustain the pangs of pain.
Brene Brown tells us that rehearsing for tragedy does not make us any more able to handle it when it arrives… and arrive it will.
It is the nature of all things.
The only thing that can help us with deep loss are the overwhelming joy stores we build up while we can.
This simply means that we must try to squeeze the joy out of all situations, whenever we can.
We cannot allow joy to be lost to the ether because we are too scared to feel it.
Feeling joy is not something we are taught to do. We are also hard wired to look for the “lions and tigers and bears” so we can run away and live another day.
We often react as if we live in the same fearful jungle that our forefathers lived in.
Our jungles are now often just in our heads and we create many of the lions and tigers and bears.
As we dive into this New Year, I encourage you to make a list of THINGS YOU FOUND that made you joyful.
If you keep a gratitude journal, go back through the entries and make your list. Perhaps you want to share some of the memories with your family and friends. Why not have a Joy-fest! Kind of like the opposite of a pity party.
Take time out to celebrate the things well won and well earned.
Happy memory trails to you, until we meet again.
Love and light,