[this post will be written like a page of my personal diary, full of personal notes, which I dedicate to all my friends, everywhere :) ]
For some reason that my logical rational mind does not understand I feel this urge to write about the meaning of this farewell get-together.
Tamara, in my last spiritual session with her told me: "you have grown so much in the past few years, you should write down on a list what was that growth about, what was the change." For instants, I thought that she was reading my mind. I thought several times in writing down these things, like you write your precious events, positive or negative ones, doesn't matter, but I never ended up doing it because I lack vocabulary. What I feel is so intense and big, just one word comes up to my mind immediately: expansion. And void again returns and I just feel. And I can't describe it, I have no words to do it.
Aj, my tango friend, with whom I danced so many songs and improved my Tango skills so much, was the 1st one to kick off me in the direction of a farewell get-together.
Despite the fact that I'm very good to support others and in helping them moving forward, this is one of my best qualities (I remember once, back in Evora, with another friend, it was his birthday, I asked him why wouldn't set up a dinner with his closest friends for that night, to celebrate. At first he didn't like the idea that much and fought it, but I put so much enthusiasm on it that he ended up making the calls to his friends and we all had dinner that night to celebrate his birthday: within a few hours he was able to put together more than 14 people, all of them very meaningful in his life - this is the power of our will!), I'm not so good in doing the same for me. I need some time to digest the idea.
But somehow, instead of fighting it, I actually liked it, and in secret I started to plan it. And I admired my friend Aj for that impulse.
I started to talk with other friends and I noticed that all of them are reacting with a lot of enthusiasm, so I was getting stronger and stronger in my will. I'm gonna do it.
December is not a good month to schedule anything, but I didn't have other choice, fortunately most of the people that I would love their presence there were able to make it. And that meant a lot to me.
It went by very fast and somehow this get together started to feel like a real good-bye, like it's over. I have no idea why these thoughts were popping up in my head all the time, but they drove me in to tears several times. I had to do a hard work to calm down myself.
I think a lot, and when I say a lot, I mean it.
But in the past few years I strove to maintain a healthy thinking process, something that actually can help me moving forward and clarifying situations instead of driving me nuts or in to more confusion.
I think to digest. I put myself in to other people shoes to try to understand their actions and attitudes towards me, either positive or negative ones. But more negative ones.
We're not perfect, I'm not perfect and I'm so aware of that (I have this habit of blaming myself in the 1st place, all the time, "It's my fault", "I didn't respect" is one of my most common thoughts, when a situation goes wrong), that's why is very important to me to know both sides of the story, at least to understand them. As soon as I digest the process, I can return to that person or event at peace with myself (is there is a possibility to do it, sometimes there isn't), I have forgiven and understood, and I'm able to see again the best qualities of every single person in my life. And that makes me feel very light and confident, makes me feel good.
That's why this get-together started to feel dramatic for me: every single person in the guest list touched my heart! left a huge foot print! Those tiny little things and attitudes that no one cares about, meant the whole world for me. I tried to let them know about it giving them back As much as I could with all my heart. Their enthusiasm was the answer that I needed to hear.
I tried to deep down my feelings in order to "behave well" in the lunch and everything went well and smooth, until Brian hug me with those longs and sweet hugs very typical from him, which almost flew me in to the Planet of Tears. My throat was very tight, it was difficulty to breathe, heart pounding... I was about to explode. I stopped immediately the hug and it was very difficult to look at him in the eyes. Eventually I could calm down myself and say good-bye in a pleasant way.
We were there, at the restaurant, a little more than 3 hours, not all of us, but the "leftover" group was a very good one. All of them surprised me in many pleasant ways that I swam in the sea of gratitude once more. Again, feelings very difficult to describe, something like warm clear blue water, miles of soft sand and palm trees.
After some shopping, I head off home and all by myself, I took off the "friend role" and faced up my feelings and fears.
I opened up the postcard that Aj gave me as soon as he got in to the restaurant.
I was reading his words and immediately tears started to stream down on my face, I fell down on my knees and I sobbed (to weep with a convulsive catching of the breath), for a long time.
I was releasing something hidden very deeply in my heart.
I felt like someone really dear to me, someone that cares for me, that loves me, that unconditional Love, was hugging me and saying "Well done! you made it girl! you came here, to so far away from you home, from the place where you are loved, without knowing anything about this country, or the place you are about to live in, without knowing anything about your boss, without knowing anything about your work or the subject of your work, with a poor understanding and conversation skills of the language spoken in this new place. You did by yourself, alone. You fought, alone. The help given you in the beginning was limited, very limited indeed, somewhat tendentious, but you did it anyway. The emotional stress was huge, beyond your own limits, but you made it. Waking up in the morning was painful, but you never stopped smiling and you never got bitter. You got sick, many times, but you always sought for your own cure, to heal yourself. You fought for it. You had many, many reasons to quit, you were tested many, many times, but you never gave up of yourself. And that, my dear Susy, that is what makes life worth! That is what gives you a dimensionless inner strength, that destroys your limited boundaries and expands you towards a collective goal and connects you to the Source. Remember, it's not about what you can achieve materially, in fact, less you can get materially speaking, better you will be (the power of attraction of the material things is dangerous), but what you can achieve internally, and that I don't need to explain to you what it means, you already know it very well.". "I know, I know" came out of my mouth while sobbing. A very warm sensation filled up my chest at that time, something spreading out from the center, where the heart is, and filling up my upper body. A pleasant burning sensation. It was not the 1st time I felt this.
I later realized that was my heart talking to me (my rational mind accepted this theory, although I don't need its acceptance, I just know it). My purest form, a form that all of us have, but most in a deeply hidden way, inaccessible for others and for oneself. And this inaccessibility makes us unable to recognize the extreme hard work behind scenes and sometimes we say unfair things hurting people when we don't recognize their efforts, hard work and ultimately their value.
We should never minimize our friend's life if we truly like them, if we truly care for them. We should always remember that when bitter words come out, and they are very difficult to forget, they desperately mean that the heart is wounded and is suffering. The heart is asking for help!
We shall not judge other people's lives. Never!
Instead, practice understanding, practice compassion.
As true friends, we'll always lend up our hands to them, we will always be there, supporting them and help them seeing the positive side of every not-so-positive events in their lives. Never make them feel bad about themselves, always recognizing their true value and efforts, the best of their beings!
And when we have done this, we have touched their hearts!
Like these persons touched mine, I know that I've touched theirs, in a very much positive way. And this is the highest reward of all!
I think for the 1st time in my life, and very surprisingly, I didn't have any headache after sobbing (there's a huge deal of energy in the diaphragm), I just felt extremely light and happy. A very calm flow of happiness. Ready for the next step whatever that might be. I don't care, I am ready. :)
Here's a picture of all of us.
Bill left early, so he doesn't appear in the picture, but as a happy coincidence he happened to be in Seattle that weekend. I'm deeply thankful to Terry that flew from CA to make it to the lunch and share these last moments with all of us.
At the table: Cathy, Terry, Heather, me, Andreia, Max and Mariana.
Standing up: Bruno, Paulina, Brian, Lane, Aj and Jess.
There were a few friends that couldn't make it for good reasons, and I 'd like to acknowledge them here: Cat (LA), Tania (Miami, FL), Dawn(SC), Mark & Bridgette(NY), Gaur and Sundar (in NY that weekend), Paul (out of town, lunch afterwards), Whitney (working, dinner afterwards), Javier & Sung Hae and the kids Juju and Jamie (dinner afterwards), Satyen (SF), Heidi and Cayetana (Europe).
My heart would like to have had 1 person more joining this get-together, someone that added and contributed in many ways to my life, but unfortunately the same heart pounded under the effect of a very intense emotional stress when accidently my eyes crossed that person, some days before the event.... more time was needed. Time always heals, always!
Like Bill 1st said to us just before he head off to Buenos Aires, Argentina:
"I leave you with my advice to myself: Put friendship ahead of all other human concerns, for there is nothing so suited to man’s nature, nothing that can mean so much to him, whether in good times or in bad. Since life is a fragile and unstable thing, we have no choice but to be ever on the search for people whom we may love, and by whom we may be loved in turn."
And Eleanor Roosevelt added:
"In all our contacts it is probably the sense of being really needed and wanted which gives us the greatest satisfaction and creates the most lasting bond."
And Ajay closed it saying:
"You really do bring sunshine to everyone around you!"
And like Dawn usually says good-bye:
PS - There were two beautiful 'gals' that bought me the lunch. Thank you! :)