By Andrea Baker
“I felt a great disturbance in the force… as if millions of voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced… I fear something terrible has happened. ” ~ Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode IV (A New Hope)
Obi Wan had a flair for the dramatic, but I do know how he feels.
Of course, he was referring to the destruction of the planet Alderaan and all of its peaceful inhabitants. My own version doesn’t involve tragic genocide, but I definitely know that feeling of suddenly experiencing a gaping hole where there was once life and electric sparkly energy of neon pink and green and blue.
Obi Wan describes the force as “an energy field created by all living things… it surrounds and penetrates all living things and binds the galaxy together.”
I think some people are more sensitive to this energy than others. I know I feel it when I’m near the ocean and when I’m soaking in the warm golden goodness of the summer sun.
I feel it when my body is flooded with prana after a particularly zenfully-intense Yoga practice. I also feel that connection (that bind) with certain people in my life.
The connection to my mom is probably the most obvious. She senses when difficult things are happening for me—sometimes before I’m even fully conscious of the situation myself. When this little blonde butterfly flaps her wings in distress on the West coast, my mom always feels it as a hurricane on the East coast. I blame George Lucas.
Here’s how my own little Alderaan exploded.
I felt a connection break that had bound me to someone for over a year. I can tell you exactly when it happened. It was a Tuesday morning in late-November. I woke and was immediately aware of an absence…a void…something missing.
I can’t say what severed this tie. It had been tenuous and faltering for the previous several weeks (months, if I’m completely honest with myself), but it finally snapped without any obvious cosmic event. I didn’t even have to wonder what had happened.
I just knew.
An energetic connection that had been there when I fell asleep the night before was gone. I experienced it as a tangible and huge black hole in my universe. I wasn’t particularly sad.
That was a couple of months ago, but I just noticed that I still miss you. And it was that: a noticing. I didn’t call you consciously to my thoughts; an awareness of you was suddenly just there.
It was probably triggered by a very specific combination of events that led me down the path of synaptic connections that leads to you (forever to you) in that corner of my brain that will always be your home.
This morning’s playlist, the brilliant sunshine hitting my skin as I walked through the streets of my neighborhood, the smell of freshly-brewed coffee, kisses from a wriggling French bulldog puppy who acted like he’d been waiting his whole life to see me, California daydreaming—a five-minute chain of seemingly random, unlinked events that somehow brought me to you.
I don’t want to miss you anymore, but I guess I do.
I no longer miss you with a consuming sadness or in a soul-shattering, heart-collapsing kind of way. In fact, it’s not even really sadness, it’s more of an acknowledgment that something that was once vibrantly ever-present is now gone. I imagine it is an experience not entirely unlike an emotional version of phantom-limb syndrome. Just like phantom-limb syndrome, my thoughts of you often originate in the nervous system beyond the brain. The sensation triggers the thoughts (awareness) and not the other way around.
Missing you is probably not even the right way to describe it because it is hard to disconnect that phrase from the milieu of sadness, loneliness, pain and heartache. My missing you has become much more neutral than that.
It really is a noticing that you are gone which still makes me pause. It still confuses me and I do have to remind myself it’s true. We are journeying separately now. It’s okay. It’s good.
And now that I’m not quite so bedazzled by the zingy, beguiling, consuming pull of this relationship, I see things with a different perspective. It’s a perspective that has a bit less emotion and a bit more logic.
I know it will take a while for that space to fill in again, but I plan to fill it with loveliness: tattoos, messy hair, good abs and maybe a guitar. A spirit that is equally sweet and surly, a wanderlusting soul and wicked sense of humor. Perhaps I will fill it with motorcycles and yoga. A love of sunshine and vampires and oceans and endless music.
Oops…wait! Is this Plenty of Fish? Never mind. Moving on.
By the way, for clarity, the “you” above actually applies to more than one person and even to a dog named Sidney. Oh yeah, and nobody says it like Obi Wan.
Wikipedia tells us that Prana (प्राण, prāṇa) is the Sanskrit word for life force. In yoga, Indian medicine, and martial arts, the term refers to a cosmic energy believed to come from the sun and connecting the elements of the universe.
The universal principle of energy or force, responsible for the body’s life, heat and maintenance—prana is the sum total of all energy that is manifest in the universe.
So nice try, George and Obi Wan. Turns out you guys didn’t make that stuff up after all.
This post was originally published on Rebelle Society.
Andrea Baker has a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology and once knew everything there was to know about Byron and Bundy. She is a certified yoga teacher and ever-evolving student in Vancouver’s beautiful yoga community. She has divided her life equally between Canada’s east and west coast … never living far from the sea. The ocean has influenced her writing, her yoga practice, and her approach to life. She distrusts capital letters, loves sticking eka pada koundinyasana, and wishes she was just a tiny bit taller. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or her blog.
Editor: Dana Gornall