There is magic in a story. Some stories can show us that the divine exists – that there are forces that make things happen. I share this story about longing.
On a cold, foggy morning I went to a large shelter for the homeless, where we were on the third session of a new program. On this day, in a small, windowless room, a woman walked in to the room where we held the circles. No one else came that day, which was unusual. But I knew to trust that this is how the circle was meant to be. Just one woman.
I liked her from the start. She was animated and had a bright quality to her, although she had lost a job, and her home. When she spoke, traces of her origins in Mexico came through in a lilting way.
“I’m glad I’m the only one,” she said. “I need to talk. There are things I can’t talk about in front of the others.” She paused. “How should I begin?”
“Wherever you like,” I said.
Her words tumble out. They fill the room with barely a pause for breath. “I have a pain in my heart. My friends tell me to get over it. But I can’t. They don’t understand.”
Lucinda speaks, moving back and forth in time. She tells us about a broken marriage, of being in Mexico as a girl, of estrangement from her son, whom she loves. Of having difficulty with a relative which meant she had nowhere to sleep. Hence, knocking on the door of the shelter, every day for a week until a space opened up. Of not wanting to be a girl when she was young. But then finding the beauty of her body. And how she used to know calm when she was a girl, sitting by the ocean in Mexico. Where did it go, this calm? She has never been homeless before.
Twenty minutes later, Lucinda is still talking and I feel as if I can’t listen anymore. But suddenly, she pauses, for just a moment.
The co-facilitator says, “There’s a Yes in all of this. Something in you knows, and then you can value it.”
And I begin to speak too, though I’m not sure she’ll understand. I tell her that I hear something in her stories. Her longing which is a natural part of her being, like a thread woven through her life.
Lucinda closes her eyes, her face serious and in deep concentration. At this point we meditate together. There’s now a sense of utter peace, a stillness in the room. After the meditation, Lucinda begins to speak. It is not just her words that touch me, but the quiet place from which she speaks.
I have always had this inside me. I just didn’t have a language for it. You have given me a language. The words. Now I know I have this inside me. Everyone should know this.
This longing for the sacred in life, for the Source – is a power so potent. It can unite what is fragmented within us. When we value this longing, it flows into life. Like a green stream that runs through us, nourishing the earth.
Your work and openness reach all the way to New Zealand. Just a breath away.
Thank you, Anne, for bringing the circle of one all the way to South Carolina. I will remember this story when I touch the Stillness, the I Am.
There’s a little light inside of you.
The truth of your message touched me deeply. Thanks you.
Thank you Anne, again and again, for the deep nourishment that comes from sharing real stories.