The Strong Pull of the Song in Your Heart

untieyourknot“It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple.” ~Rabindranath Tagore

Right now, my six year old son wants to be a “nature photographer” because, “wild animals are so cool.” Last week he wanted to be a paleontologist and the week before that, archaeology had his attention. Sometimes he dresses up as Luke Skywalker, and other times he wants to be Darth Vader (He hasn’t seen the film yet, but he has pop-up books and legos, and that’s enough to have him completely enthralled). My three year old daughter is happy to be his sidekick on any chosen adventure, which means sometimes she’s required to be Princess Leia, other times she is Obi-Wan Kenobi, and still others, she’s digging in the dirt with him as they excavate fossils. My point is, we all knew how to be present, engaged, and immersed from moment to moment as children. Unless tragedy strikes, or we enter the world and are not nurtured, it’s rare to find a child who doesn’t understand joy.

Life ties us in knots, and we also do it to ourselves. Thinking we ought to be something other than who and what we are, believing we are supposed to do what everyone else is doing, having our uniqueness crushed out of us, being taught that some feelings are appropriate, and others should be pushed down because they make people uncomfortable…all these things tie us in knots. Being inundated with messages that we are not enough, that we don’t measure up, that if we could just change and get it right, then we’d be happy…all that stuff ties the knot tighter, until our spirits are reduced, our light dims to almost nothing, and we don’t know who or what we are anymore. We become chained and lost in the dark. In a world where we are taught to believe vulnerability is dangerous, and people will go for your jugular if you express weakness, confusion, despair. Our hearts are broken and we are left to deal with it in isolation. Not a fabulous combination.

“Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot…” I call this healing yourself. Acknowledging your pain. Opening to the vulnerability of the human condition. Asking for help when you need it. Do you want to know how to heal? You won’t like it; no one does. Head straight for the center of your deepest pain and have a seat. Open your eyes and your hands and your heart and breathe it in. Run your fingers over it. It will hurt, but running hurts more. Pushing it down or denying its existence feeds your pain more power. It’s not going to go away and there’s no reason you have to live with it as your constant companion. You could get back to joy if you haven’t already. You could love your life and yourself and you could even dress up as Luke Skywalker today if you felt like it. Life is too gorgeous and mysterious and heartbreaking and incredibly beautiful to be taken so seriously.

Open to your gifts. What lights you up? Maybe paleontology isn’t going to happen, but you could go for a hike. You could go dig in the dirt in your own way (I believe adults call that gardening). You could go ice skating or rollerblading or for a ride on your bike. You could go to yoga. Play again, is my point. Knowing yourself well is essential, and to know yourself, you’ll need some quiet and some space. It might sound strange, but breaking a sweat is good for healing. Getting out of your head and into your body, connecting to your breath, being fully present. Dripping sweat is better in my book. Wring yourself out until all that is left is the love. It’s in there because you’re made of it, it’s your natural state. And then the path becomes obvious. Move in the direction that feeds your soul. Wishing you love, and the strong pull of the song in your heart. Ally

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