My daughter was injured and in need of surgery. We live a distance from each other but I went to LA to be with her. Helped her dress, eat, take a shower. I combed her long tangled hair and braided it. I hadn’t done that since she was a child. Through it all, there was a thread of metta and compassion flowing from my heart. Beyond the concerns I have as a mother, I was connected to the ‘cries of the world’ as she struggled to move and sleep and walk about her tiny apartment. I was alert to her movements at night, waking at each sound, just as I had when she was a baby.
Pain is the great teacher. Physical pain concentrates our attention in remarkable ways. Emotional pain does the same thing. We fall into a pinpointed awareness. Then we have the opportunity to examine our reaction or response. We struggle to get comfortable. Watching my daughter trying to find a position she could fall asleep in was so difficult. Our hearts break after someone we love dies or leaves us. A beloved dog dies and we are distraught. It is important to tend to the suffering. To take care with ourselves as we are so vulnerable. We may feel broken and unable to repair the damage we feel. The journey is to walk through the doorway of our broken hearts without trying to deflect the pain. Can we love what is unloveable? Can we bear the distress, the anguish?
My child will heal. She will be transformed by this experience. As we all have the opportunity to use our experiences to learn from, to come more fully into our lives.
This life is over so soon. Let the pain soften us and open us. Allow. Be present of the whole of life, for all of it.