He’s so small. He runs and wraps his arms around my thighs and I pat his head before he leans back and looks up at me to say goodbye.
I can’t look for too long. He’s beautiful and I feel my eyes start to well up. We’re having one of those moments of deep connection when we value who we are for each other. He hangs on tighter because moments like that are getting rare.
The thing I feel isn’t sadness. I don’t miss them as they go to school or to their friends’. Nor am I happy that they’re gone and I’m off for some fun by myself.
I’m just aware that we’re living a life of firsts and lasts all the time. And there aren’t many warnings or clues before things change. Sometimes the shift happens suddenly and sometimes gradually.
I want to share a secret with you that keeps life real for me. And by real I mean joyful:
I die a lot.
I’ve died almost every day for as long as I can remember. How I die doesn’t matter. It’s not the part I focus on. In my daydreams I always end up watching friends and family after I’m gone. That’s when I see how we fit together and what I mean to them. When I wake up from my daydreams love is richer and deeper.
Well, that ritual stopped working for me about two weeks ago and I couldn’t figure out why. I felt something lacking in my life. I finally reached a point where I knew I didn’t know but needed to know in a way a fish needs water. The only tidbit of guidance I was getting was: “Disconnect.”
So I went against every bit of logic and advice from intelligent and well-meaning friends and disconnected from one social media site Saturday evening. I was feeling something by Sunday afternoon, but there was still no healing – no reason to reconnect.
This morning it all made sense. Something I’d listened to triggered something profound in me. It was so simple, but had been buried for my whole life, waiting to be uncovered and valued. Here it is. Are you ready?
Human beings need more than words.
We have the gift of feeling bodies that need and want to be touched.
I can’t get that online. Of course, we all know that! That’s not new information! But what is new for me is the level of understanding I reached. Once I saw the truth – that I’ve suppressed my playfulness and automatic touching when around people out of “respect” for boundaries – I saw the pain. I understood what social media was trying to teach me. I felt the sadness in the walls, both online and in real life – walls that are invisible and live inside of me. Walls that I created over time since childhood.
Death – the temporary separation of spirit from body – is something that I’m comfortable with. I feel the other side whenever I want to go there because it’s here. But with my husband’s passing, Robin William’s death, news of other’s progressive illnesses bringing them closer to the veil, I’ve become more sensitive to what it means to be human and how important it is to consciously choose our experiences.
Now I can do that with more awareness because I consciously disconnected.
I’ll end where I began this little conversation. My “problem” had nothing to do with social media. That was just the tool God used to reach my heart to help me reconnect with my inner child. I feel a subtle shift in how to be with people in my “real” world: I can be just like my kids and reach out for hugs and kisses just because it’s what comes naturally. It’s not that I wasn’t already doing that. I was. But honestly, I want to do it a lot more.
People, even strangers, need more than words. I promise. :)