When bad things happen in my life, I often become obsessed with searching for the why, the reason shitty things have come my way. A better relationship, a better partner is just around the corner but I needed some tweaking first, a tweak the relationship I’m currently devastated over was needed to fix. I wasn’t being grateful or living my life in an intentional way, so I needed a slight adjustment to make sure I learned to embrace my most authentic self.
I’m trying fiercely to believe in my path, that the universe is guiding me and to just trust in its way. To not always be after “the reason.” The truth is, however, most of the time, I tell myself that simply because after all the soul searching, all the attempts at a positive spin, I just have no frigging clue. I don’t know why things happen the way they do, but my mind, being limited by such narrow parameters, needs a better answer than that. So I trust the path, saying there is such a reason, even if I never discover what that reason is, or even fully believe it exists in the first place.
But sometimes I get lucky. And my lusted after “reason” becomes as obvious as a slap in the face. This morning, after an hour or so drive from the flat where we are all staying, I got out of a van and was immediately knocked over with my why. Mother Teresa’s words adorn the walls throughout her home for the Destitute and Dying, reminding all that enter that while you may feel that what you are doing is just a drop in the ocean, the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. My why was answered in the bright eyes and sweet smile of an elderly woman wrapped in a blue pashmina, firmly holding my hand, stroking my face, my lips, all the while singing me her blessings in words not understood in my head but felt as powerful as a drum beat in my heart.
I got my why this evening, as I sat in a circle surrounded by twelve of the most radiant souls I’ve ever been blessed enough to know, sharing our stories, our struggles, the high costs we’ve paid to gain the many blessings we have since received since being diagnosed. Our resilience holding hands with our complete and utter brokenness. This is my why. India. My fellow tribe. Feeling fully, for the first time since November 12, 2013, that someone else really knew.
It’s clear in the immediate affinity I feel toward these kindred spirits, my tears drawing theirs, their tears drawing mine. One of our facilitators, a beautiful soul who two years ago was herself a wide-eyed participant traveling to India looking for her why, reminded us tonight that breath is the first thing we do when we arrive in this world and it will be the last thing we do when we leave. And life is made up of all the moments of breath we have in between.
There will be many breaths, long stretches of them, that I will never fully understand, tragedies I will never comprehend, no matter how long I am lucky enough to be alive. But I understand these breaths. I know my why for this experience. And I am grateful and humbled for it.