Listen To Your Four Year old

Brendan was laser focused on finding out about that “lost city”.

To all the people living with illness and disease, I am NOT going to tell you that everything will be okay. To all the care givers, I am NOT advocating to find silver linings in times of pain and suffering.

Although everything eventually will be okay and there are always silver linings, those realities when pointed out can serve to diminish or intrude on a person’s present experience, especially when pain filled.

Instead, I’m going to share what can happen, when living with illness and disease, if we open ourselves up to love with the intensity of yearning. Love is often hidden because pain and suffering take our attention. Yearning for love gives us the possibility for miraculous experience in the midst of the very worst situations.

The yearning we need to access was modeled when my son, Brendan, was four and we traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada and decided to go on a tour of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. We were part of a large tour group following a guide all through the outer and inner mechanisms of this engineering feat. Early in our guide’s narrative, he mentioned that there was a lost city hidden under the lake. Brendan was transfixed by the idea of a “lost city” and every time the guide stopped talking so people could ask questions, my four year old’s hand shot up. I can hear his precise diction and strong young voice even now, “I want to know more about that lost city!”

Clearly, the guide wished he’d never mentioned it because he wanted to talk about the mechanisms and amazing structures holding back ten trillion gallons of water. As we stood in awe at the 660 foot thick concrete base, Brendan was laser focused on finding out about that “lost city”. At last, others in our group became mesmerized with young Brendan’s heart’s desire and joined him until the guide shifted and addressed the “lost city” subject.

Doctors and hospitals with all the blinking lights, attached monitors, drugs being IV dripped into human veins, chemotherapy being administered, radiation, surgical procedures cutting through our flesh and bone all are holding back and redirecting and shifting the illnesses and diseases that threaten lives and CAN become all we pay attention to just like Hoover Dam obscured the importance of the “lost city”.

This yearning for what we love is how we wade through the mechanisms and structures that occur when illness and disease enter our lives and threaten to stop up and cover over our streaming feelings. Love expressed is the miracle that we desperately need in order to survive.

What miracles have you experienced during times of illness that came from love being expressed?

You can also read this article in my column in my local newspaper the Taos News.

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