Do you remember the Madonna Badger story? She’s the woman who lost her three young children and her parents in a house fire on Christmas 2011. Just typing that sentence left a pit in my stomach. I cannot or do not want to even contemplate loss and grief on that level. I listened to a recent interview she did and a couple of things stuck with me. I have a great book I was planning on sharing today but that can wait.
Madonna talked about her pain. She was in the hospital for a while following the fire but eventually she was faced with the daunting process of continuing to live. She talked about numbing out and said she couldn’t shoot heroin or drink to numb the pain. She had to feel the pain. She had to feel the pain in order to heal and she had to accept that this pain wasn’t going to go away. How many of us numb out with drinks or food or just going and doing nonstop in order to avoid something? Maybe, as Madonna said, the avoidance is even more difficult than the feelings.
Toward the end of the interview Madonna was reflective. She said she wished she knew then what she knows now. I’m paraphrasing but she said organic food doesn’t matter. She repeated saying sure it’s good but the deadline at work or getting kids into great schools or eating organic doesn’t really matter. I knew what she meant and I felt her words. All of the details we consume ourselves with are luxuries. We think about organic or weight because things are moving along in that semi predictable way everyday life does. However, are we doing the things that are even more important? Are we listening to what our children or parents say? Are we feeling what we need to feel and showing up to the celebrations or lessons and really being there?
This resonated with me as I put my kids to bed. The extra minutes they were up past bedtime seemed sort of meaningless. I will sit with them for breakfast this morning versus rushing around the kitchen and yes it will be an organic breakfast.
Did you recall the Madonna Badger story? Do you tend to “numb out”? Is it possible to stay connected to those truly important things? Can we care about the little details and still be present, honest etc?