Yesterday was the day that I allowed my No’s to become Yes’.
A year or so ago, a group of interest alumni from my service year created an email chain, where twice a week a prayer, poem, or thought is shared with the group. Yesterday was my day.
Well, to be more accurate, Sunday was my day! I arrived at work, upon seeing my calendar, said “shoot, I was supposed to send a prayer out”. Writing is something I’ve been craving, but lacking the time to give it, saying yes to all the other priorities. Well, procrastination and pressure sometimes work because I was incredibly pleased by this spiritual writing, my favorite kind.
A deeper emotional ‘No’ proved harder to let go. My initial version of the reflection left out the context of which I was speaking from, namely “a re-commitment to the program that helped me through my chronic insomnia last year, carved out time to assess where I want to go in my career and my relationship, and more quality time with my mom as I learn to grapple with her new diagnosis”. As I read it over, it wasn’t me. It was so incredibly cold and clinical without having the personal connection. As much as I didn’t want to admit to others my weakness, or be open about a private family pain, something told me to just say yes, open up. As if ripping off a bandage, I quickly typed the words, and hit ‘send’ before I could second guess myself.
How liberating the consequences have been! One current volunteer wrote to me gushing about how she loves the song, and wanted to say that she understood as her dad has a similar story. She thanked me for my honesty, told me she was with me in solidarity and to keep dancing. Her email gave me chills.
Another stranger wrote me to say how insightful he found my writing, as well as a smattering of love and support from friends.
I’m…nearly without words.
I’m so appreciative for the graces that come from these struggles, the community that springs into action, and the overwhelming presence of love. I just want to bask in this, in the possibility of being able to do more spiritual writing, of being able to touch people I don’t even know, of feeling most fully alive.
This work is powerful. I’m overwhelmingly grateful and humbled.