They Came My Way
The Skillful Heart Messenger
“Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much a heart can hold.”
It was 1985. The world population reached 4.850 billion. In late November terrorists seized an Egyptian Boeing 737 airliner taking off from Athens. 59 died as Egyptian forces stormed the plane on Malta. In early December the Nobel Peace Prize was presented to the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.
In the United States Ronald Reagan was sworn in for a second term as the 40th President. The median household income was $23,618. Unemployment was at 7.2% and the price of a first class stamp was $.20.
Robert Bly released a new book Loving A Woman In Two Worlds. Renowned artist, Marc Chagall, died at 98.
Sonoma County’s most beautiful season…Fall…was officially just 8 days old on September 30th when dawn broke open its golden sunlight on a cool morning destined to transform autumn leaves into dazzling and subtle hues.
In Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital our 4th and last child, Kira Joy Williams, was born. I remember the event as Judy’s most steady and serene birth. Although, it must be stated that only a birthing mother knows what is easy and what is not!
For many years, Kahlil Gibran’s famous book, The Prophet, has served me well as a treasure trove of wisdom insight. His statement on children captures an essential lesson that Kira came my way to teach. I paraphrase Gibran’s words to help take you, my Reader, into a lesson one of your children may have come your way to explore:
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you; You may house their bodies but not their souls; You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.”
Kira came my way as a most significant Heart Messenger. What that means is she came to become a master teacher for me to feel life’s content and find ever renewing hopefulness that comes from living fully in both the happy and the sad; the pain and the promise; the exhileration of a moment’s delight, and in contrast, moments that may leave us awkward if not defeated.
To paint a big grand statement on a large life canvass, let me say that men absolutely need several Heart Messengers in their lifetime if they are to find a deeper meaning beyond compartmentalization that so easily results in the deprivation of living only in the transaction of measuring worth on a scorecard of Wins and Losses.
The skilled Heart Messenger explores and confronts feelings to find healthy thoughts and actions grounded in an individual’s soul journey. In contrast the unskilled Heart Messenger lives in the ambiguity of feelings as a pawn in a Chess Game.
The skilled Heart Messenger often discovers their soul’s path forward at a critical moment. Such was the case for Kira. She was a young teen when a friend took his own life. She was the last person to speak to him. That event was Ground Zero in her soul’s journey to become the skilled Heart Messenger.
While my wife and I…and all caring parents…would never want their young child to experience such trauma, the reality is that sometimes there is no adequate shelter from a storm…except when the storm becomes the event to find the shelter of the Divine Hand at work in the journey of a soul’s development.
Through the lens of time I know my daughter has found wholeness. Now in her late twenties, she is a woman of strength, conviction and immense skills to care and accompany others into their life wholeness.
As she has done with herself, Kira knows how to feel into another’s journey. Like a classical 3-Movement Symphony that has a middle movement of ambiguity, intrigue and reflection preceding the exhilarating crescendo of the final movement, Kira now knows how to walk with herself, friends, her soon- to-be-husband and professional colleagues. She is the Heart Messenger who can help another bring forth the Second Movement in their life symphony. She demands exploration of what’s hiding behind stubborn certainty or the stonewalling of thoughts. She can express herself with transparent honesty…saying publicly what has not yet been expressed. Likewise, she can be the tender listener who simply comes alongside to nurture another’s process of learning.
Heart Messengers like Kira Joy, are richly full of life. They carry a unique capacity to call forth the fullness of another. Clearly, she has offered this gift to me. She has helped me discover what it means to feel rather than fix. Unwittingly, she has taken me back into myself to re-position judgments allowing me to see that everybody gets a dealt a different set of life cards and judging the cards someone is holding is not particularly productive in building caring connections.
When I think of that long ago morning of September 30th, 1985, I did not know that Kira Joy would gently shake my life tree to strengthen hidden roots that bind me to others.
I am a better and blessed man because Kira Joy came my way.