I was very fortunate to have some time off this summer. I was able to spend good times with friends and family. I also had some time to learn and reflect.
The most important thing I learned to do was breathe. This sounds kind of funny, because we all breathe every day without much training or effort. We cannot even hold our breath for long before our bodies force us to start again.
I learned to breathe in two different ways. The first is through some advanced meditative breathing techniques that I learned that could be applied to private prayer and meditation and would work pretty well during services, too. They have helped me focus on the power of the present moment in deep way. I will be discussing those techniques at my Sunday morning hamakOhm program, which is starting August 25th.
The other kind of breathing I learned is a lot harder, but has been very helpful to me and how I react to things that happen in my life. I know that change is always occurring, and that nothing really stays the same. I should say that I knew it in my head, but my heart was lagging a bit.
The people that I love, both young, old, and in the middle, have been going through a lot of changes lately, mostly good, some not so good, but all inevitable and unstoppable and a natural part of life.
For some reason it just hit me hard. I wanted everything to just stop and be the way it has been, because when others changed, it meant I changed too.
They may have been ready, but I was not. It felt like it was hard to breathe.
My first reaction was to ignore it, and just say to myself, “Everyone goes through this, what is the big deal?” That did not work. Knowing that someone else faces the same thing does not really help lessen your feelings about your own situation.
Instead of turning away from what I was feeling, I sat with the feelings and embraced them. I realized I was lucky to have such wonderful people in my life to worry about, and feel nostalgic and sentimental about, and if they did not need me in the same way that they used to, they still needed me and wanted me to be a part of their lives. Things would be different, but they would be okay.
I also realized that I did not have to fix the difficult part of their lives, and that I couldn’t even if I wanted to. It is also possible that what I thought of as a difficulty for them was a challenge they wanted to face on their own, and that they just wanted my love and support and, often, my silence. We could love each other for just who we are at every moment.
This is when I started to breathe again.