Hello my friends.
I had a dream last night. I was meeting a friend in downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). A dream friend, someone I don’t know, or I’ve yet to meet. We arrived together at a great piazza, also not in DTLA, much like you would see in Italy, or Mexico.
We sat at a high top bar, u-shaped on one side of the piazza and watched people come and go, laugh, sit and talk all around us. My friend and neighbor joined us. She was carrying a small girl, with dark hair, slightly curly, nestled in her shoulder with tears in her eyes. The girl looked shocked, but comforted in my neighbors arms.
My neighbor quietly said hello. I whispered to my dream-friend, “She lost her grandfather, father, and stepfather all in one week. Dream-friend murmured and cooed to the girl and my neighbor.
When my dream-friend had to leave my neighbor and I sat at the bar, we hugged and talked about life. Watching people all around us in the piazza. It was very peaceful despite how bustling it was. A song came on in the background, low in the bar, and one of the staff ran over to the music console and turned it up.
A beautiful humming filled the bowl of the piazza and everyone became very animated by the music. The song was Be Gentle, by Danielle Ponder, and as it became louder everyone started dancing. Dancing on tables, on stages, brick and stone, synchronous with the beat, and singing the lyrics.
“Be gentle with yourself, my love.”
“Take yourself higher.”
Danielle Ponder, Be Gentle
In my dream, I started to cry. My heart was beating, my body was moving with the music, I started to dance. Mixed tears of release, and sadness, and joy, out of my eyes and down my cheeks, over the curves of my nose and lips.
My face wet, I woke, crying. It felt good to cry.
I wanted to put a beautiful quote here about tears, or grief, loss, or crying but there aren’t the right words, for right now but I don’t know what words could encapsulate it all. We need to cry, collectively, for life, for our world, and our place in it. We need our tears for today, for what’s to come, and most importantly to drop our heady-thoughts into our hearts, and topple our ideological towers that prevent us from doing what we want, feeling for each other, feeling connected.
Our capacity to feel what is happening in our world right now is the most potent force I have connected with. To feel is to know, it moves us beyond the abstract of thinking and into understanding. That there are tides moving beneath us, and all things. Waves of grief for the pandemic, wars, archaic backwards laws used to suppress and control bodies and the fear that comes with it. Hatred, intolerance, phobia, and the people and experiences that harden us to life, all soften in tears.
When we cry we allow ourselves to be vulnerable to our own feelings about ourselves and our lives. When we create the space for ourselves, or we find someplace where we can feel that vulnerability safely with someone else, we can move past shame for what we are feeling or experiencing, and open up to the honest tears in our hearts. Stuck emotional states, frozen for fear of feeling, move and we allow ourselves to experience something quite natural to the human condition, feelings about the present, concerns for the future, and grief for what has passed.
We might think that feeling will unleash something we cannot control, but it is the very act of trying to control ourselves from feeling that is the issue, and the belief or ideas that if we should let it out we will be judged weak, unworthy, or shameful.
Feelings move through us, and then they release. Sometimes they swell and return, they are in the waters of our body, and the mind is like the moon, pushing and pulling on them, asking us to feel this or that, so that we can be more present for today. It is through the tides of feeling that we become more aware of what is happening today.
Think back to your last good cry and how after, after the tears are shed, you felt clear. The intensity moved through you, you experienced what you had bottled up, and then it passed. Maybe you cried longer, maybe it was days, or weeks, because of grief, but each time you felt, and in feeling you came closer to being here, with what’s happening.
It’s unsurprising that I know so many people who are grieving or experiencing trauma at this time. There is so much happening in the world. I’ve been asked what kind of energy work, or even magickal operation one could do to help with various situations. With grief, with pain, I think the best thing that can be done, is to feel it.
The sooner, and I mean this in the safest, most ideal way we can find to feel supported, we feel the pain, the sooner we can start the road to living with the losses we have experienced.
If you are able to find a friend or loved one, talk and cry, I invite you. If you are safe in your space and you can put on the music that will move you, and dance, or cry, I encourage you feel. We’ve gone through a lot, and many of us have gone through a significant deal more than others when it comes to loss. We’re faced with environmental grief, and apparent never-ending cycles of human made suffering. We cannot live well, or long, by walling ourselves up from the world, othering people who are not like us, and telling ourselves that what is happening somewhere else, has nothing to do with us… because deep down we feel the truth, the loss, and the fear.
We’re here to be in relationship, and sometimes that relationship we are called to be here with, is with ourselves. Feeling what we feel, about what we are experiencing, humanizes us and opens our hearts up to the world.
Feel with me. Cry with me. Dance with me because I feel there is much more beneath the pain of the present, the grief for our past, and fears of the future, but it can’t be felt until we release what we are holding onto.
Scott K Smith
Please if you are feeling that you need help or someone to talk to, but do not feel that you have someone to turn to, reach out to someone who will listen.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project is completely anonymous, in fact has tech that will clear chat histories for you to protect your privacy. You can connect with them by calling 1-866-488-7386, or Text ‘START’ to 678-678, or chat with a person who’s waiting for you at https://www.thetrevorproject.org/get-help/
Founded in 1958, Didi Hirsch’s Suicide Prevention Center is the nation’s first and a model for suicide prevention centers across the globe. Our center helped over 135,000 people last year, saving lives throughout the nation and world.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 800-273-8255.