Transition is a bit like someone coming into your life with a giant paint stir stick and swirling it around in your heart. It brings to the surface a whole lot of emotions that might normally stay hidden. If you’ve ever stirred a paint can, you know that vigorous stirring can result in overflow.
That’s how we feel these days – like it’s all right at the surface, and it takes little for it to overflow. A few days ago I made a picture montage from China set to a funny song, and I found myself tearing up as I made it. It doesn’t take much. A song. A commercial. Prayer. Hearing someone’s story. Sharing my passions. The mention of the word “China.” I am brought to tears. It reminds me that there is more grieving to be done. I’m not super excited about that, honestly. There’s a point at which you want to not cry and just move on, but the problem with tears is that they aren’t meant to stay inside you. Letting them out always feels better in the end.
But there’s an upside to all this stirring. It’s evidence to me that I’ve made it through with a soft heart. It’s difficult to stir a heart that is hard, that refuses to be touched by pain or sadness. It doesn’t always look hard on the outside – sometimes we coat it with a thick candy shell and pretend all is good. Whatever we do, I’m learning that the best route is to stay open, to be vulnerable, to let the stirring happen because good things come to the surface too. Things like being able to recognize when others are being stirred, and to enter in with them and catch their overflow; being able to give others a more authentic you; being as in touch with joy and laughter as you are with sadness and pain. That’s the fun part – the fact that it opens me to being quicker to laugh as well!
I’m sure it will be awhile before the swirling settles down. In the meantime, I hope to make the most of what it does in my heart. And don’t be surprised if you see me cry. Or laugh! It’s all there, and it’s all good.
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