As I deal with chronic pain and emotional stress from many directions, I’ve been prescribed by various medical professionals regular, guided, relaxation and meditation exercises. I highly recommend this practice to you because it does make a significant difference over time. I enjoy teaching others and telling other parents how it’s helped me.
But honestly there are days when I just don’t ‘feel it’. I sit or lie there, and I just feel empty. The pain and stress don’t lessen. My mind just wanders all over the place. I daydream. I worry. Those negative voice loops that run through all of our heads play at full volume in mine.
I know you, too, sometimes feel empty, no matter what you do to relax or refill. Nothing seems to recharge you. We can feel emptiness in any part of our day. We desperately look for something to fill us, and it doesn’t seem to be anywhere we look. We get more and more frantic to find it. You end up as overwhelmed as usual. It happens to all of us.
I do my part with my exercises. And I get angry those times when nothing comes of it.
Or what I think is nothing.
The leader of a meditation this past week talked about what happens when we don’t feel anything coming to us, when we feel disappointed, even angry, about this, and when we end the exercise as empty as we started. And he raised the one question – the question that’s the title of this newsletter.
We look for peace and hope, and for that particular moment or day, we do not find it. But can we bring ourselves to ask the question?
Is love available even here?
Can we believe that something beyond ourselves still loves us in the midst of all this feeling empty, whether we call that something God, Spirit, a loving community of support, our family, that great tree in our backyard, or anything else bigger than ourselves?
Can we believe that our love for our children is available here, and it is enough?
Can we believe that we are loved and enough?
I remember a time not long ago when I didn’t believe this. But our younger son got cancer. We spent a year helping him live. We met countless children and families on the same journey. Some did not make it.
I saw the ashen faces of parents who received the worst possible news. I saw two bald, physically weak girls playing Candy Land in the waiting room. I saw my own son crushed under the weight of chemo, medicines, and the emotional trauma of it all. He’s just five years old. It’s all horribly unfair.
I’ve seen autism parents so beaten down by bureaucracy that they literally cannot get up off the ground. I’ve talked to parents who feel so broken inside from stress and worry that they cannot even get words to come out of their mouths.
But somehow we don’t quit. We fight on, because that’s what we do. That’s what love does.
I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Love is indeed available even in all these places and more.
Love is the only thing that can remain unbroken even against the full fury of doom. Over the past year, we have been surrounded by people who fed us when our bodies were crushed and weary. We have been enveloped in the thoughts and prayers of family, friends, and complete strangers when our faith and hope in the future faltered. Their acts of kindness flowed through the empty places in our lives and renewed our faith in love and compassion.
When you don’t ‘feel it’, or when you feel totally empty inside, sit and breathe for a minute, and do this. Decide to choose to love and be loved by something or someone greater than yourself, regardless of what is happening, regardless of what you believe or feel right now. It is what makes us human. It is what gives our lives meaning and hope.
It is why love will always be available, even here, even anywhere, whatever may come.