“There comes a time when the world gets quiet and the only thing left is your own heart. So you’d better learn the sound of it. Otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s saying.” ― Sarah Dessen, Just Listen
When I sat to write a piece about “time” to contribute to Our Collective, I considered how much I think about “time” and all the consternation it creates in me. Is this the “right” time? Has it been “enough” time? When will it be “my” time? I actually wrote a really great piece emphasizing my point so that you reading this would take to heart my words and in the few minutes after wards, you would commit to making life changing choices that honored every moment of “time”you spent awake. It was all well and good until instead of hitting send, I hit the “back” button on my screen and lost the whole article. Shit, it was two o’clock in the morning and I was counting the minutes until my darling son, Prince Charming, awoke for his next feeding. Recently, I have been having these experiences that when I try to push my brain into trying to make something happen with deliberate and earnest intention, usually, it doesn’t work because whatever the “thing” is that is supposed to happen has not yet presented itself. So I thought, well, I’ll just surrender and wait for the experience that will teach me or lead my writing to present itself and with that, I went to bed.
Present itself, it did. Next morning, my mother-in-love came over and while visiting she received a phone call from a dear family friend who had just learned that cancer had spread throughout her body and she was told she has less than two months to live. Suddenly the notion of time took on a whole new meaning. What does one do first when told they have less than two months to live? How do you begin to sort through the thousands of images and thoughts flooding your brain with all that you want to say or do before you die? It’s overwhelming to consider how one would begin to prioritize and organize your time into some type of order. What would determine what was most important in that time? I cannot put myself in this dear hearts place, I cannot not pretend to understand or even try to perceive what she is feeling.
My heart has been aching since learning this news. Everything hurts to my very core. I cry in the shower, I cry on long walks…mostly what I think about is her having to live through this process and how will she spend this time. Would she be with her three grandsons every second or her beloved husband whom she walked along side for forty two years? The possibilities and considerations are too much and too many to hold. Time passes so slowly and so quickly, it slips through our fingers like liquid. While I cannot be sure how I would live with such a diagnosis, I do know how I hope I would feel. I would hope to feel love, deep, deep love. I would hope I could spend my time in deep, deep love with everyone and everything I came into contact. I hope I would through restraint out the window and show my love with reckless abandon not giving a crap about time. Knowing how hard it is for people to express and share themselves, I hope I could move past peoples fears and my own vulnerabilities to live in the present moment of time.
It got me thinking how in times of crisis or times of delightful surprise, we welcome deep feelings of love and hold no judgement of ourselves or others in their expressions of love. Day to day though, we restrict ourselves, we resist our urges to share and show our love or what is in our hearts. But what if this whole life is a time of crisis or extraordinary circumstances, how then should we choose to spend our time? Can we own our love and spend our time honoring that which we hold so dear? In recent years, I have made it a practice to tell people I love them, even if I’ve known them a short time, if I feel it, I share it. I’m not saying that I don’t teeter on the notion that there is a certain amount of “time” that should pass before it’s acceptable to be authentic with people but still I share it. Perhaps it makes people uncomfortable, I know I can’t be responsible for that. I can only be responsible for making people feel loved and appreciated and know where they stand with me. It’s the same with other loves we have, painting, cooking, running etc. How can we love something that we have only just begun. Because we do, we just do! We just love what we love and quite frankly, what’s time got to do with it?
While time can determine and control some aspects of our lives, it is possible that we pay too much attention to the rules that have been set around time. Can we stop paying so much attention to time and start paying attention to our hearts? I know I hold myself to a standard as far as my interests go, “oh I’ve only been taking photos for 2 years, that’s not enough time to call myself a photographer”. Right, can you hear yourself thinking that very same thing? Let’s choose to live in Universal time and measure our actions and deeds through our feelings, how things make us feel or how we make others feel. It’s worth the time to try at least…