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Do you feel lost and alone sometimes?
Remember, life is a journey and you are loved
Here in the hot, steamy air of El Salvador, I have at times, felt lost. My current hotel starts playing what I call, “elevator music,” at about 7am (today for some reason, it remains blissfully quiet at 7:24). This music evolves into 80s party music that I think stops around 10pm. If I am lucky, I fall asleep before they turn it off.
The outcome of this is that my nervous system feels frazzled. I struggle to find peace. I tell myself to practice including it all, embracing everything. These are good practices. And sometimes they are not enough. Especially if you are sensitive like me. (In case you are wondering, I imagine this is fairly true for you, or you wouldn’t be reading this).
There is much to feel for all of us in the world right now. Much is happening on so many levels. I feel and see so many things in the people around me and I often want to cry. Sometimes because I am so touched by the beauty and the care in the world (this morning as I wrote, someone here brought me coffee even though they don’t open the kitchen until 8am). And he said good morning to me with the kindest smile. There was care in it. There was resonance.
This is something I have been contemplating this morning as I write for guidance, which is what I often do when I feel a bit lost.
What am I looking for in the world? What do I want? What do you want? Really….? It is kind of a big question. One thing that came to me is how important resonance is.
What does that mean?
Well, resonance means that I feel the person in front of me in a deep way. I take a moment to see how they impact me emotionally and physically. It is like a secret, energy hug of sorts. And I am looking for people who can do that with me, whether I am in tears of ecstasy or grief.
This is not a small thing.
I believe in the world today, this is something that is often deeply lacking.
I am lucky as I have a friend who resonates deeply and has held me through many emotional waves and bumpy experiences. Recently, I called him from El Salvador, early in the morning. And I started sobbing. It has been a lot to take in here. Some people live on $300 a month. Some people move here, like me, and justify paying people little. My friend told me that is like justifying slavery. I sobbed some more because I knew he was right and I was grieving.
My sobbing occurred at sunrise, at an exquisitely beautiful location, overlooking the sea. I was with a friend who came out to check on me and he gave me the space I needed.
Later, he told me he lives each day the best he can. He enjoys what is in front of him. He doesn’t try to control what will happen in the world. He has been through enough to know that doesn’t work. I tell myself as I write I “should” be able to see and live that way too and I still struggle with letting go of control in life. I also know that “should-ing” oneself is never helpful.
My friend shops in thrift stores. He buys used shoes which he soaks in a bucket with bleach. He washes his clothes that way too. The shoe part bothers me. I offered to buy him new shoes. He declined…his system is working for him right now. A few days ago he showed up to drive me on a multi-day adventure to look at properties. He was smiling as he had found a t-shirt he loved at a thrift store. He told me he had the same shirt a few years ago and lost it. Then, in the thrift store, there it was again! He loved this shirt because of the message it has:
A Little Kindness Can Change Everything
For me, this is not by accident. I would not be surprised if it was the same shirt. I suggested he mark the tag in it so he can track its future journey.
His story is a message for me of Grace and how we, you and I, are not alone. But there is more as really, the shirt is about how he feels. He resonates with people. He resonates with me, with dogs he meets and feeds, with the man at the gas station who is disabled, selling candy. While I am wondering about what to do, he is busy buying the candy.
Sometimes, with me, he misses the mark. That is part of resonating with people. It is not about getting it “right” when you are with someone. It is about doing your best to look them in the eye and feel how they are, and how you are, at the same time. Sometimes, my friend has played music that is too much for my frazzled nervous system. Most of the time, he plays music that uplifts me. And we dance with this.
You, like me, need care. You need people to look you in the eye and “see” you, “feel” you. We all need that. I think that is why I left the US.
I was struck deeply by a part of the new San Diego Airport. It was beautiful in one way. It was dripping with expensive, first-world energy. There was a fountain with a huge glass ceiling overhead. Surrounding it were many new seats, with chargers handy.
But the seats were designed to face away from one another and you couldn’t move them. I saw a father with his child. The child was sitting. They couldn’t sit next to one another. They couldn’t face one another. He had to stand to interact with her.
This is why I decided to leave. This is what I am trying to get away from. I am trying to move towards something. That something is resonance.
El Salvador is wealthy in this way. People take time to look you in the eye and take you in. Even if it is just for a second. Like just now when someone brought my second cup of coffee. Her quick glance into my eyes and her smile were like butterfly wings that brushed me softly.
Why does all this matter to you? How does this make a difference in your life?
Well, I think we are all looking for this and it is an important thing, a good thing, and you are not wrong for wanting it. You are not codependent, or broken, or needy. You might be those things sometimes or have been some version of them in the past. But wanting to connect is so different. It is more like love. Like grace. Like God. You are not wrong for wanting or needing that.
And while you are on this journey, it can be helpful to remember that that is what it is. A journey.
Some days will be more challenging. Some days you may feel lost. You may feel shaky.
A friend was walking with me yesterday and I asked him how he coped with all the change and uncertainty in his life. He mentioned Stoicism, meditation, and then he said this phrase to me that people have told me over the years, at just the right time:
“This too shall pass.”
And as I write, someone is sweeping around my table. The elevator music has begun. It is close to 8am. She is wearing a t-shirt. It says: “We love you. Pink or Blue.” Boys or girls. Loved. She smiled at me. Resonance. Love. It is a thing. It matters. A lot.
I am wondering where I will go next. I was concerned my search for a peaceful place might leave me too alone. The hotel has lots of people, and lots is happening in this little town. Meetups, people traveling here to see how things work in El Zonte, where Bitcoin is used many places as currency.
I was looking at a gated community with a small casita. It is about a 15 minute drive away and I don’t have a car. My nervous system would likely get a break and then I might feel too isolated. Too lonely.
I wondered what I should do and I was reminded as I wrote for guidance, that yes, “this too shall pass” and my life is much more of a flow of experiences and none of them are permanent. It is a mix of things. Here there is too much music sometimes, and kind people, and interesting events. What is next will be different. Some of it might feel good and some of it not.
But it is all changing. If I can allow that to happen and not cling rigidly to what I know, I will be ok. I will be flowing along through and past doorways of choices and opportunities.
Here are some words that came to me through my writing for guidance today:
“Let each day be an adventure. Nothing is permanent. Do not forget this. Nothing is permanent and you are not just finding your way… it is less about the destination than the journey. Allow the journey. Each day. This is enough. You are enough.”
And from my previous day of asking for help:
“Savor each day as best you can and know you are loved. This in the end, is key to everything; it all; all that is: it is key to discovering and feeling who you truly are.”
I don’t believe these words are just for me, or just my truth or medicine for my personal journey. If they resonate for you, they are for you too. And if they don’t, that is right as well. We all have different needs at different times. Sometimes we need space. Sometimes we need community. Sometimes we need to write, or pray, or talk to someone and ask for help, or holding.
So like me, let us remember together that yes, life is a journey and you are loved. It is not about getting things “right” or simply about becoming something that you are not. It is about embracing your beauty, and your situation and feelings and needs right now. It is ok if you feel off. It is ok if you feel good. Those things are part of the journey and you are not alone.
Someone just said to me, as they looked at me eating a banana and working here at my computer: “La vida es buena.”
Life is good.
Yes it is. Not always easy, but “buena” nevertheless. In fact, maybe that not-easyness is also part of the beauty.
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