a few years ago, while driving with a beloved mentor and professor, i was reminiscing on the years i spent working on my master’s degree. i confessed to her that those years were some of my hardest and darkest days.
i shared that i often wondered if people could see the deep sadness that lived buried behind my eyes and my infectious laughter and exuberant joy. i wondered if people could see behind the mask that adorned the loneliness, grief, anger and disappointment that lived in my mind, body and spirit. my womanhood and mixed black racial identity have taught me how to mask what lingers beneath the surface for my survival and protection. many things are rarely what they appear to be.
as i wondered out loud with my beloved friend, she looked at me and said, “I knew. I could see the sadness in your eyes.” in that moment i felt the warmth of her care and the light of her love.
i felt seen.
i felt understood.
i felt human.
in that moment, i experienced love that makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place, and new meaning about our friendship was revealed.
looking back on those days while looking ahead, i’ve been thinking a lot about what it feels like to be held by a community or person in such a way that your soul is invited to crawl out from it’s hiding place. lately, the answer(s) to this question has become more pressing.
when love is in the air inviting my soul to crawl out from hiding it feels like…
the fist time i drove on the Pacific Highway alongside the Pacific Ocean from San Diego to Las Angeles. i was overwhelmed and in awe of the beauty and expansiveness of the ocean, but i was not intimidated, nor did i fear its vastness. the ocean was a reminder that i was embarking on a new journey. something new was being birthed.
i felt excitement.
i felt inspired.
i felt curious.
i felt hope.
i felt creative.
i felt safe.
i felt alive.
when you occupy space with someone or community that invites your soul to come out from hiding to be seen, cherish them!
they are a rare gift.