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  • Writer's picturehayley cagan kamis

I'm Here


So, here I am, where I often find myself: at home, alone with my pup, awake too late at night trying to find some way to ease my mind.

I’m taking a step back from social media at the moment because it hurts my heart, like a non-stop film rolling crazy after crazy, with people being hateful and destructive and hurtful to each other, to our planet, to themselves. And I wonder, how do I make it stop? How do we make it stop? Why won't it stop? Can it stop?

And I think of my go-to saying: “be a duck” - let all the yuck roll off your back, don't feed into the darkness.

Only light can erase darkness. The world needs hope, goodness, love, light. I say this aloud to myself and others, over and over again. And I try, all the time, to stay in this place. I’ve got to be honest here: It. Is. Exhausting. All this trying, as well as running from the thoughts of frightened, abandoned children still separated from their parents. Families torn apart. For the inequities in the world. In response to bombs destroying thousands of years of culture and tradition and the people who have lived for generations in honor of that life. I ache for those who suffer, I cry for those whose own sobs aren't seen or heard or valued, and for those of us who watch bewildered while our core values are cast aside without responsibility for checks and balances in the name of selfishness and greed and egocentrism.

The concern about these horrors startle me. Working in the healing arts as an integrative energy practitioner, I'm familiar with how trauma can become engrained into our cells, passed along in our DNA, only to linger and cause suffering for those who can survive it. We are a world that is - and will be - in need of trauma release and relief. Although I honor the path that we each take rather than judge it, it still hurts my heart knowing that suffering caused by others is unnecessary, inhumane, unholy. And I can’t for the life of me understand why people choose to act so callously and fueled by fear. Do they not know that moving from a place of love and light – which is the best feeling in the world – will easily, gently, lovingly, create an atmosphere of peace and resolution for themselves and for those around them?

Not too long ago I wondered if my tired body would be able to heal and if it was too late for me. Would I be able to find meaningful work that accommodates my physical needs? Had I missed opportunities to see and do and be all the things I had dreamed of? Were there any dreams left? And on the hardest of days, the pain and effort to get myself out of bed, even to crawl my way to the bathroom, I questioned if it was even worth finding out.

The dark and the light. They both exist in us. It's up to us to find the balance, to find that inner flame and fan it to create acceptance, love and kindness for ourselves. And we all need honest, true and caring support from our peeps to grow in that space. Yet finding appropriate, healthy support can be a challenge for many. Knowing that extending a giant hug to ourselves gives us the fortitude to then share it with the world and shine light that is strong and bright gives me hope to help that happen. But before I or you can "do", sometimes the first and most important step is to pause and just be.

At these moments when I know my tank is empty, my bulbs are dimmed and there's no battery life left, I'll merely distract myself, because maybe something outside of myself will take me back to that spark. I believe, trust and know that it IS there, but I lose my bearings, me being human and all. But it's in these remarkable moments when I give up control of outcomes that I find my way back to myself - to the me I want to be, to the person who can bask in and reflect light. And the reminders that catalyze my return come from the most inconsequential observations, serendipitous crossing of paths, odd and nearly impossible events that make me stop, breathe, and remember there are no coincidences.

In this case, I found it in a movie, one that I watch over and over again when I feel the need to be grounded and light and to return to simplicity.

TROOP ZERO, a quirky, funny, sweet story about the weirdos that we all are reminded me that I'm still here, and while I'm here I count. In whatever way, shape or form I’m present, I count. Only I can say that for myself; only you can recognize it for yourself. Even if you try to dismiss it or push it away, here’s a little tidbit to remember: I see that you're here, too, and you can’t undo that. Because you matter. Sometimes we all need reminding that we're seen, heard and feel felt, so consider this your wake-up call.

If you’re so inclined, please watch this movie and laugh or cry or just remember being the goofy kid you were, because we were all goofy. Trust the ease with which we can move from being foes to friends when we just take the time to listen and see each other. That the trophies and the stuff and the accolades aren't nearly as important as the people in your life and the quality of those relationships. And when you're done, maybe you'll do what I'm doing after I hit “publish” on this blog:

Stand on my porch, look at the sky, and yell towards the heavens: "I'm here! I'm right here!"

I often think that perhaps, on some larger universal scale, and with all respect and compassion for those affected by the pandemic, this last year was the “Universal Pause” we needed as a catalyst for change in ourselves. To remember what it’s like to just be, how much fuller our lives are when we are being with each other, and how much each and every living being counts.

What an odd thing it is to be human: Challenges. Obstacles. History. Experience. Sadness. Baggage. Love. Hope. And with free will, we have a choice how to be in a world in which each and every one of us counts. How will you be today?

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