In the gap
between this task and another
and this thought
and the next one
and the concern I have for this
and that other thing
which might occur
and all of this mental weight
and the physical burden
the sheer enormity
Is there any space for love?
And is loving a thing that waits for the right moment
and then it squeezes in?
or is it a precious possession
that we carry
keep it above our heads
and in our hearts
keep it safe
like some lost ark
so that no matter what
we always have the space
to take it out and breathe it in
spread it carefully
let it grow
and then tuck it away
and carry it safely onward again
*Are you an “I don’t have time for that bullshit, I don’t have time to be thoughtful and kind, I am too busy. Only hippies and unemployed people have time for that. I wish I had time for the soppy stuff, I have to work.”
Or do you carry love with you as a priority? Do you breathe it in even when you “don’t have the time.”
Do you make time and space for love as a priority?
I once had the selfish thought when my Mother was very sick, and so was my Father, and in between taking him to the hospital, and dropping things up to her hospital room and speaking with nursing staff about both of them, and running my children to school and listening to what was important to them and prepping for a meeting and arriving at a meeting looking professional and not mentioning all that other messy human stuff that I had just left behind, or the fact that I had just been told dreadful news and had significant emotional decisions to make – and instead, smiling (because that is what women are trained to do).
What was that selfish thought I had? Oh that I didn’t have time for this. I didn’t have time to feel all the things and do all the things and be all the things. I just couldn’t.
But also, I didn’t have time to indulge in a lot of emotional thinking. So I stuffed it all back down and carried on.
Nothing is as hard as emotional work. Hard physical labour is never as hard as emotional labour. And so often it is the women that have to carry the emotional labour bundle. That precious bundle of love. We carry it above our heads and wade through crap. We carry it in our hearts and keep it safe. We rock it and we walk the floor with it foremost in our minds. And I am over-generalising I know and probably irritating someone who is a male with my over-generalising. But that little fact is backed up by statistics that overwhelmingly depict women as carrying the emotional labour, and I have personally found it to be the case.
I am not asking for it to be any other way, in most instances it simply can’t be any other way. I am simply acknowledging it.
It is also a choice, one that I would make again and again to carry. As much as it is hard. It also pays us back in terms of the people who choose to stand closer to us because we give off warmth. And in the end, that bundle cannot stay contained, and it spreads through all of our being and permeates every task that we carry out. We become love, if we let ourselves be led by it.
This morning I was walking my sons dog Hogan. Hogan had some bee in his bumfluff and was travelling fast and low to the ground. A man stopped beside me in a car, and with a grin stated the obvious “he is dragging you.”
I was puffing as Hogan had set off again at a clip
“No, he is encouraging me to greater fitness” I tossed over my shoulder. I heard the roar of laughter and the car sped past me leaving petrol fumes in its wake.
I liked my response. It made me feel better about breaking into a jog and at times outright sprints during what was supposed to be a leisurely walk.
But nobody told Hogan that and he had the energy to burn. Mine and his.
Eventually Hogan calmed down to a dog trot and I along with him. I quite like dog trot pace – it’s fast enough to get my heart rate up but slow enough to be nearly as enjoyable as walking. My cardio is greatly improved because of my trots behind the strong dog. Is he dragging me? Or is he encouraging me to greater fitness?
The latter idea sits a little easier on me.
When love is difficult it encourages us to greater fitness.
It’s purely a difference in thought – but it makes a difference to how I feel. Next time I’m being dragged at a pace I am not comfortable with by a temporary hardship in life, perhaps I’ll remember this and stop resisting, pick up the pace, and encourage myself to a little higher spiritual fitness.