What’s the weather like where you are? It is pouring full-on outside my window and has been for two days. I’m bundled up in a long-sleeve t-shirt covered by a heavy plaid flannel shirt, heavy pants, and big fluffy socks… and I’m shivering as I type this.
I love weather like this! It calls me to hunker down, stay close to home, snuggle more, and tend to my inner, emotional weather. Hmmm. Giving myself a chance to check in with myself, I remember that – besides loving the rain – my heart is heavy with sadness.
I just got news that a dear, dear friend, who I have been close to for over 25 years, has just been given six months to live. She’s been battling cancer for three years. The fight is gone and she is swiftly moving into surrender and acceptance, saying her final good-byes to the people she loves. My heart is broken and I can’t imagine true happiness without her being a living part of it. Death is so finite and non-negotiable, like an ache that can’t be treated.
Though, truth be told, she will always play an important role in my memories, the things I’ve learned from her, the gut-laughs, and tears we’ve shared. In that way, I can remember it’s her physical self that is finite, not her Spirit. In this moment that doesn’t seem like enough – not nearly enough – but it is something.
So, while I’m watching the rain and thinking about my friend – as well as worldly events that are so deeply disturbing to me – I feel resonant with the rain. It’s as if the Earth itself is mourning alongside me. I receive this as an expression of physical empathy, nurturing, and love. My own tears rise to the top and let loose in sync with the rain.
I’m so grateful for my feelings: that I have the capacity and willingness to feel them.
It hasn’t always been this way. Prior to NVC, I had only a rudimentary connection to feelings, and even less respect for anyone who expressed them. I thought people should hide their feelings, lest they’d be abused or taken advantage of. I was all about protection. In fact, I had this mantra in my head that would say, “Protect, protect, protect. At all cost protect.”
And, I succeeded. I kept myself safe and isolated. Safe and lonely. Safe and shut down.
NVC taught me about the emotional power that comes from feeling my feelings and becoming skilled at expressing them to others. It taught me about the power of growing my emotional vocabulary, the power of being awake and alive in my life, of loving someone and allowing love to come back.
The simple, empowering, magical beauty of being able to feel my emotions and understand the needs to which they connect is still remarkable to me. I will always be grateful for it. And I will always be grateful for my dear, sweet friend, even though in this moment it feels so painful.
What about you? What’s the weather like inside your being and outside your home? Are you longing for support, inspiration, or community?
So many of us are in a state of mourning right now. My wish for us all is that we can be present to our pain without growing hard or disconnected to all the Life that surrounds us. I sincerely hope that the NVC Academy programs and courses are one of the places you turn to for nurturing and support.
Trackback from your site.