Bubbles burst, rain clouds burst, buds burst into bloom, tinder bursts into flame, fireworks burst across the sky, and my heart bursts wide open. Once something bursts, it transforms. The bubble won’t be put back, the cloud can’t have the raindrops shoved back in, the flower wouldn’t dream of being pushed back into bud. What about the heart? If it has truly burst wide open, can it close down or harden again? We often have moments when we think we’re ‘about to burst’, but we don’t really. We almost transform, but instead we have a lovely or powerful experience. It’s easy to go back to the old way from a ‘lovely experience’. Not so easy if we are truly burst open.
Since I awoke in the ICU I’ve been pushed to the ‘about to burst’ point over and over again. I can’t tell you how often I’ve burst into tears — sometimes from sadness, worry, or despair, but mostly because the love was more than I thought I could bear. At first, the words overwhelmed me. Comforting, yes, in many ways… but also like a tire or balloon being filled too full much of the time. The food people brought, the cards sent, the conversations shared, and the endless messages of love and support offered in countless ways — these were all part of the ‘about to burst’ phenomenon.
Launching the fundraiser has pushed me to the bursting point again and again. Oh my! It takes a certain kind of courage to ask for help so directly. I’ve needed to trust that people’s words are genuine when they ask “How can I help?” I’ve also needed to trust myself enough to know that I’ll still love and support me even if my request is ill-received, off-putting, and/or I get judged because of it. With that trust firmly in place, the response has been jaw dropping! We’ve received donations from all over the world and all across the United States: The United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Turkey, Spain, Dubai, S. Korea, Canada, Macedonia, MI, WI, MN, MS, WY, IL, IN, OH, PA, NJ, NY, NC, GA, CA, KY, TX, CO, WA, OR, MA, CT, FL, MD, VA, and HI to name a few!
Sometimes I check the PayPal account my friend set up and my jaw drops or I burst into tears when I see who donations have come from. Sometimes the $2 donations move me as much as the $2000 donations. There are people who have given that I know have precious few resources to spare – this is very humbling. This inspires and motivates me to do the dirty work that’s waiting for me. There are people who have written letters with a clear and powerful ‘no’ to contributing that have moved me and strengthened their own commitments around money. There are people who were part of my life long ago that have shown up in astounding ways. This reconnects me to who I am and reminds me that the good things that are core have always been there and always will be. And there are people I’ve never met – some giving very generously – these are bewildering to me and open me to wonder what this is really about.
This has become bigger than me, bigger than my urgent situation. Perhaps it always was. There are gifts for all of us in the midst of this. Gifts about how to share with one another, how to ask for help, how to give and receive, how to honor, appreciate, celebrate, support, and call each other forth to the fullness of what’s possible when we allow ourselves to burst open fully.
There’s so much more to discover. I know I’m only scratching the surface. What a fascinating time we’re living in. Thank you for being part of this glorious world in whatever unique way you are. Thank you for your generous offerings.
Bursting…. with love and appreciation,