Love the Ones You’re With

by Terri Mason

I feel like I have seven new sisters. What an amazing week. To paraphrase the wonderful Waz: “You have planted seeds. Don’t keep digging them up to examine them and show them to others. Let them germinate in the dark. Once they sprout, the changes will be obvious to others without you saying a thing.” I didn’t keep a journal there, I certainly talked a lot, I wept every day, I noticed my surroundings and I listened and loved the people I was with. Isn’t that an old Crosby Stills and Nash song- ‘Love the One(s) You’re With? Well that’s what I did. It felt wonderful. Now I am not with them and that feels odd. I still feel full and I’m trying to love better the ones I’m with now. Oh, the luxury and spaciousness of last week. I will always remember it.

I joked that at Commonweal they didn’t teach us how to stretch time when we got back home. Time had a spacious quality there. It only started to contract again the last couple days when I thought about returning home. There was time to stretch out there. Time for yoga, time for so many memories, time to feel into the depths of my sadness, time to really listen to others, time to walk to the beach, time to breathe, long nights when I had a hard time sleeping because my mind would not slow down, time for gratitude, time to just be. Here are the things I didn’t do, cook, drive, wash dishes, pay bills, write daily, check the internet, hear the news, read much, walk the dog, plan my daughter’s activities, go to work. Our week was filled with activities. Except late nights and some walks I was always with other people. I miss the quality of our interactions, the sharing and just being around each other. I don’t miss being so revved up and unable to sleep. I think even there I felt a need to perform, to be entertaining to be well liked. I guess those qualities are deeply a part of who I am in the world.  I can accept that.

I’m experiencing some post Commonweal let down. I guess I couldn’t stay blissed out permanently. I may not have equanimity as a steady state, but I’m learning to live in my little boat more cheerfully returning to center after each wave wallop.