For a very special reason I am sending you Monday’s musing today. I invite you to take a listen to this amazing new podcast that I was asked to be a part of, with a group of smart, classy and edgy thinkers who are doing something a little different. Their brand is “raw, relevant and unapologetic”; The Village Confidential. It’s an inside look at Calgary entrepreneurs with a unique adventurous spirit in terms of content and humour. I was honoured to be a part of it, and would be so thrilled if you would take a listen and pass it on.
I am a runner, and because I love to run outside and I am out there every day and I live by a bird sanctuary I get to enjoy these Snow White moments. I have meditated on a rock and had chickadees hop up and down from my legs to my shoulders, I have had deer lazily saunter by close enough to touch, I have had an Eagle swoop by so close we almost collided. I once saw a Bald Eagle scoop up a Canada Goose by the neck and carry it off to dinner. And so WTF did it mean when the swallows started dive-bombing me? I am going to confess, it knocked me down from my princess of the forest fairy tale into a Hitchcock plot twist before you can say Cackaw. I was admittedly sad, when I realized the bird that had skimmed my hair had not actually lost its bearings, but was after me. Of course the swallows were nesting and using a complicated system of watch bird calling to attack bird, but after a week of daily dives I was feeling singled out and wondering about past-life Karma (a philosophy I don’t subscribe to, except when birds are attacking me). I was given advice that I should carry a stick with me to wave in the danger zone, and this system did seem to work in that the bird would not swoop lower than the height of the stick and my face was thus protected. So one day I head out and before I get anywhere I feel a sharp stab on my ankle. I move the tongue of my running shoe and a wasp flies out, leaving two red sting marks. I don’t know if any of you are running junkies, but a girl’s got to clear her head. So I kept on running. It was a bit of a run-hop on account of the sharp stabs of pain. Before I was consciously aware of it I was praying. Please let me have this run, as if some nasty God was doling out parking ticket quotas for the day and I was begging for a break. And then it occurred to me to recite a line from A Course in Miracles, which if you don’t know it, is a jaunty little 617 page read with a year long workbook, but it’s pretty fricking top-line training in undoing your Ego if you’re into that kind of thing, like how to undo pain and suffering, which is my jam, just a more holy jar of it. So I am reciting the following, which I share in spite of my embarrassment to do so, because if you don’t know the ins and outs of it sounds like religious mumbo jumbo, and it is just not: “I am the holy son of God, I cannot suffer, cannot be in pain, nor can I fail to do all that salvation asks”. But because the pain is escalating SO is my volume. And it all comes together in a beautiful moment where I am ducking from killer birds, waving a stick frantically and screaming curse words alternating with holy mantras as my neighbours jog by, seemingly unnoticed by the bird-team that has singled me out. I am basically as crazy as it gets.
The miracle at the end of this crazy, is that all of the pain of my wasp stings went away within five minutes and I ran a long painless run. When I got home and my family asked to see the damage expecting me to be writhing and limping, there were only two red holes but no actual suffering to go with them.
This is what I aim to give you friends. Sometimes there is nothing I am going to say in fifteen hundred words that is going to lift your pain enough. Because when you’re feeling it, it feels really really scream out loud bad. But know that I am connecting you to all of the loving hearts that are connected to mine, and they are connecting you to all the loving hearts connected to theirs and we are making a chain this way, so we can pull you out of that sludge that is far too heavy for your now immobilized limbs. You can let yourself break, you can lie in a heap and give up for an hour, or a day, or a week. I mean too much more than that and we’ll need to intervene. But for now, blow your snot into my sleeve and I’ll get the Ben and Jerry’s and run the bath. I even have some old beer at the back of the fridge you can cry into, as long as you stay away from my Amarone.
Hurt hurts. And while I am going to enthusiastically share with you a much better way to approach life and relationship so as to create less hurt, hands down, and how to unravel hurt so it doesn’t create more hurt, I cannot stop another from throwing a punch. I mean I can wrap you in clouds of Charmin, I can teach you to duck, and I can get you back up in the ring with a full set of teeth, but sometimes you are going to get KNOCKED. THE. FRICK. OUT.
I am so sorry about that friends.
Sometimes the punch hurts because it says we are not worthy.
But sometimes it hurts because it erases joy, with very little warning. Like having your teddy bear thrown off a train.
Some of you right now have achy breaky hearts. And if you didn’t before that song reference got you there real quick, didn’t it?
Some of you have had a lot of BIG THINGS dumped on you lately, and Covid is the pile of sticks on your camel’s back. You’re tired. The adrenaline has worn off. Nothing lights you up. It all feels hard and heavy.
Some of you have been dumped. Period. Plain old non-Covid related dumped. How unimaginative!
Last week I wrote about sabotage; that terrible horrible painful wreckage created when someone who feels unworthy blows up your relationship. Some of you are watching this train heading straight for you.
Sometimes life throws the sucker punch. Life takes away your job, or your security, or your health. Plays you for a fool.
The man you were going to marry breaks up with you by text because you inconvenienced him with a painful emotion wrapped in a soft blanket and set down gingerly in his general vicinity.
The job that was your brilliant accomplishment evaporates in a puff of virulent smoke.
Or you’ve been slugging it, slugging it so hard, for so long, nothing feels fun anymore. You can see the bridge to happiness, but you just can’t get up from the sofa, let alone drag your Covid ass all the way over there.
Sometimes we do all of the right things, and look sideways for a brief second and it all comes crashing down.
We don’t get to the good stuff with out risking. It takes two people entering into vulnerability to create a relationship.
It takes two wills lining up to create all that is meaningful in our hearts and lives.
And when that force seems to break, when one of those two parties to a trust fall drops their arms, we hit hard. There is a period of shock before we can get to understanding our pain and solving for it.
We can’t control for that piece. For Karen screeching the brakes. For the ground rising up to meet our face.
But there are so many other arms reaching out, when it seems like you have lost one that matters.
We offer you the blankie fort.
We send in the guardian angels to wrap around you and keep you protected.
My team of holies and I will stand watch over all of the things you can’t seem to get to.
All of the ends you are letting slip.
All of the efforts you can’t make.
We will be the love in which you forgive.
The light in which you see.
The mind in which you think.
And the strength in which you trust.
Lay in a heap, but keep your heart open.
You’re too tired to close it off anyhow, remember?
And it’s not your job right now to make sense of the pain.
We’ll be behind the scenes, waiving sticks and screaming holy mantras and f bombs, all for you.
We’ll get you to the bridge.
You can rest in us.
— Love Erin
P.S. You’ve been asking me how to get your friends and loved ones the help I’ve been able to give you. We can do that. Contact me and we’ll talk details.
P.P.S. One of the kindest things you can do for me is to share my writing. If you enjoyed today’s Monday Musing and know someone else who would please forward it to a friend.