By Tammy T. Stone
This will be short and sweet.
The thought came to me and I couldn’t shake it—I wanted to share it. I thought that maybe if I needed to hear it, you might too.
It matters that we are here.
I don’t exactly know how it matters. Even if I did, my reason for it mattering might well be different from yours.
But, we probably don’t feel all that different about so many things. We might connect over being filled with hopes and dreams. We might share, say, having lost so many gifted, soul-lifting musicians over the last couple of weeks. We probably feel it very much mattered that they were here, and that they continue to be here as our beating hearts meld with the powerful, inspired rhythms of their songs.
All those who continue to lose their lives senselessly everyday… we know that it mattered deeply they were here, and fight to understand such tragic loss.
We unite in moments of shared grief and agony, and also of joy and excitement. What’s more, this communion has an exponential effect: it makes us want to reach out and hold the hands of so many others. This capacity that we have—as humans inhabiting this world at this time—to bond and share experiences, it matters.
It might be what matters the most.
We know bonding matters for the simplest of reasons, though there are also more complex ones: it matters because it feels good, not in a complacent way, but in an authentic, comforting and enriching way. It feels like it matters, doesn’t it? It feels like healing can take place here. It makes us feel a part of something larger than ourselves. It encourages our awareness of the vastness of the universe and our contemplation of what fills this magnificent, cosmic space. This is not a small thing.
We are in a sea of all-that-is, and everything that is, matters. Our here-ness matters. It’s not so important that we beat ourselves up about the “how” and “why” of it all, though this can be a valuable and rewarding pursuit, when we feel up to it.
I’ve come to feel that it’s not our work to question our existence, after a lot of trial and error. It’s our work and our gift to live our existence.
I admit, I find it confusing that we came into this world with minds ripe for self-reflection, but that we are unable to answer some basic questions about the nature of our existence. However, I’ve come to realize understanding the nature of existence does not have to underscore the actual, beautiful living of life; running in circles and coming up a bit battered and empty does not feel nearly as satisfying as surrendering to the mystery of this momentous life, and choosing awe and gratitude over bewilderment and skepticism.
This may not be the revolution that ends all war, hunger, inequality and suffering, but it matters.
The deeper within we go, the greater a love we find, and the more inclusive and expansive we realize love is, if we can find our way there. This matters a lot.
Becoming truly aware of our existence, here and now and in this form, for a brief moment in history is all it takes to seize the truth of how important it is, how very much it matters. What we do with the fact that it matters we are here, and that we all share existence with one another, is ultimately up to us.
I end with the wise words of Stephen Levine, the recently departed poet, author, teacher and guide on healing in death and dying:
“You have to remember one life, one death–this one! To enter fully the day, the hour, the moment whether it appears as life or death, whether we catch it on the inbreath or outbreath, requires only a moment, this moment. And along with it all the mindfulness we can muster, and each stage of our ongoing birth, and the confident joy of our inherent luminosity. ” – from “A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last”
Editor: Alicia Wozniak