The call of loneliness

Updated Jul 2 2020
Dancing at Daybreaker Seattle. Photo by AJ Apuya.

Last week I was invited to share some of my writing at Daybreaker, a morning dance party that happens in Seattle (and worldwide). I decided to step out of my comfort zone and write something new, something that I guess could best be described as spoken word. After an excerpt on instagram, several folks asked for the full piece, so here it is. And yes, I sang at the end.

I truly want to believe that it doesn’t take heartbreak to make you remember the love inside you.

I truly want to believe that you don’t have to go to the depths of existential pain, a hurt so profound that it cracks off the blinders that keep each of us from seeing the truth: that the boundaries between us are an illusion.

I truly want to believe that it shouldn’t take profound loneliness to get you to the place where you re-remember that the energy flowing through you, is the same as the energy flowing through me, and that there is nothing between us.

But evidence suggests that it takes that agony, that searing burn of loneliness and anxiety and isolation to truly help you find the lover that’s been within you, waiting for you, all this time.

The grief, you see, is an invitation.

The grief, you see, is an invitation.

What’s that line from Hafiz?

Don't surrender your loneliness so quickly.
Let it cut more deep.
Let it ferment and season you
As few human or even divine ingredients can.
Something missing in my heart tonight
Has made my eyes so soft,
My voice so tender,
My need of God

Now, for me that god is a lowercase g — the energy of the universe that flows through you, and me, and we. It’s the unknowable force that moves through all of us. But whatever capitalization or name fits your heart, the intent stays the same: the pain is an invitation.

The pain is an invitation.

The pain is an invitation.

I hate that truth. I hate that suffering is part of redemption. I want to believe it’s not true, that you can find the love within yourself, that you can feel the pulse of the universe flowing through your palms and know that everything you’re looking for in the arms of another is right there inside you, that it’s all ripe for the taking, that there’s a greater abundance of love inside you than any romance, or right-swipe, or hot fuck, or even a beautiful marriage!, could possibly provide.

But the truth is this: when it hurts, that’s when you hear the divine calling for you… and the calls are coming from inside the house.

That hurt is opportunity knocking, the gentle rapping of your soul’s knuckles against the inside of your own heart, saying hello anybody there?

…Oh, there you are.

Those tears? They are the best lube you’re ever gonna find, making that heartbreak wound so slick and delicious that the friction of finding good inside yourself feels fucking fantastic. Self-love is a hot scene, yo. It’s hardcore in ways pornhub can’t even fathom.

…Oh, there you are.

When your heart hurts so bad that your egoic defenses are crushed? That’s the hot shit right there. When your fragile mental paradigms about what you think you need get broken so badly that you’re just a sack of fractured sadness? That’s when you know you’re getting close (closer, closer, closerrrrr…), because you’re ACTUALLY FEELING it. You’re fully immersed in the sensation of growth and loss and love.

…Oh, there you are.

That’s when you realize that love and grief are indistinguishable. They’re the two sides of the same coin, and they’re the price you pay for your humanity.

…Oh, there you are.

That’s when you understand, in the depths of that pain, that you must accept the invitation to reconnect to the universal love inside you. The pain sucks. Lovers, let me hear you if you know it sucks. We all know it sucks, but it seems as if it’s the only way.

Oh, there you are.

Because Whitney Houston was right, and feel free to sing it with me.

Because the greatest
Love of all is happening to me
I found the greatest
Love of all inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

If you want more of this kind of stuff, I invite you to subscribe to my members-only platform, The Afterglow. Members have access to daily conscious dance prompts. I'd love to see you over there.

    • It was totally ridiculous, which was my goal — the reading itself was a little heavy (uh, y'think?) and I wanted to end it with a little pop music acapella karaoke surprise that folks could sing along with.

    • Aww, I wish!! I keep trying to convince my favorite Angeleno Meggyfin (former Offbeat Home editor, current friend) to go, and she hasn't bitten yet… maybe if I was in town and dragged her there… 😉

  1. I love the line about love and grief being two sides of the same coin. That's profound and poignantly true.

    • Thank you. For a while I thought about pain/loss/grief and joy/growth/love as two ends of a spectrum, but they're really the same thing. I can't really tell the difference between them any more… moments of loss feel tinged with joy and love, and even my most joyful moments these days feel tinged with a sense of loss, or more just an awareness of how things always shift, which gives an added layer of appreciation onto the joy.

      tl;dr life feels different when you have a visceral awareness of how temporary it all is.

  2. DayBreaker is such a great environment for bringing out these thoughts in us.There’s nothing like dancing, good music, and positive vibes for bringing out our best thinking.

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