I heard this song by Jim Brickman a few months ago.I was reading on my sister Jenny’s blog about how she heard a sermon, and it seemed like it was sent from the heavens straight to her heart. That’s the way this song was.
Every day on my drive into work, I pray. I usually start when I see Muhammed Ali’s face coming through downtown Louisville. I pray for the people I love. And I pray about whatever is on my heart (it’s a long drive).
That morning, shortly after my grandma’s death, I just felt… abandoned. Like I was left all alone to deal with some crazy, painful stuff. And I think I even said “I don’t understand why you’ve just left me here alone to deal with all this.” And right then, the vocal came out of my car radio…”May the angels protect you, trouble neglect you, and heaven accept you when it’s time to go home. May you always have plenty, your glass never empty, and know in your belly you’re never alone…”
Well, I pretty much had to scrape myself up from the puddle I turned into in my car floorboards by the time the song ended and I got to work. But it was a good kind of cry, the kind you have when you’ve been holding in the “ick” for too long.
Funny thing about holding in the “ick.” You do it, I think, because you’re afraid. Afraid that if you start to let it out, start to let go, you’ll just turn into one of those sad, weepy people other people feel sorry for. You’re afraid that once you start letting go, you won’t be able to pull yourself back together. And you really, really need to feel “together.” The alternative is falling apart, which rarely sounds appealing.
At some point, you realize that the ick is not doing you any favors sitting there inside you, and that it’s not going away on its own. In hindsight, after you let it go, you realize that in your efforts to keep the ick in, you were keeping out a lot of good things. Kindness from friends and family who would’ve been there for you, if you’d let them know you were a mess. Understanding from other people who don’t know you’re going through something tough, and mistakenly think you’re just normally a bee-yotch. (Hey. Maybe you are normally a bee-yotch. Maybe the pain you’re in is helping you grow out of that.)
And the falling apart thing? Could be the best thing to ever happen to you. Could be that the one thing that’s keeping you from becoming the most spectacular, fantabulous YOU you can be is your stubborn determination to get through life “all by myseff!” like a three year old who doesn’t realize she’s in over her head.
Nobody gets through life “all by myseff!” We need God. We need family, in whatever form we find it. We need friends.
Fortunately, blessedly, and at times aggravatingly, we’re never alone.