Press the link to watch Chaplain Kate Braestrup’s video from The Moth “House of Mourning”.
I really got this video, and understood it from a deep place. For there was a time–after my soiree in college studying Native American and world religions and post-my first daughters birth–when I couldn’t see another path in front of me that didn’t lead to me becoming a non-denominational pastor. So to engage as Ms. Braestrup does with her world from the caring of a larger sphere of knowing is the most comfortable place of experience for me. And often I feel like a foreign visitor to a new planet when people talk of vacations and cars and hedonistic-esque material things for those to me are hollow placeholders for what anything is ever about. For Life is a curious adventure prone to danger if you don’t tend your own psychological and spiritual pastures. We’re here upon this earth to be of love and service and anything short will keep us constantly seeking a treasure that we’ll never find.
I did not end up becoming a non-denominational pastor though; I ended up label-less, and roaming–free to interface with many and all–choosing (not consciously, but in a manner of speaking) to embark upon my independent experience here as humbly as I could, and through this other route, came also upon the wisdom that she offers here.
That all of life is about grief.
That all of life is about finding our own safe space from within the experience of perpetual growth and change–which is really moment-by-moment grief-invoking loss–and the bigger, more traumatic losses of people and experiences.
And what I think I’ve found (and am finding) is that that safe space we seek doesn’t really exist except within our most vulnerable self, and that it is through the loss and grief we allow inside–the experience of love from one end of itself to the other–that we can find the emotional safety we seek.
Because as she says here, grief must be braved in order to fully experience love, and I think for me what I’m learning too is that while my human mind thought I understood what love was, I actually didn’t have any idea, for my desire to carve out a safe space that looked a certain way was preventing me from knowing Love within anything except a singular feedback loop. When really if you open yourself up and let the grief in, you can find her everywhere and in every thing.