Love, love, love … and overwhelm

I attended my little sister’s ordination at the weekend and I found it deeply moving. I didn’t expect that, especially as I’m an atheist. I feel so joyful for her and joyful that I’m part of her life and by the end of the ceremony I was overwhelmed.

I feel into floods of tears as the organ played the final piece of music, which I know from elsewhere from a long time ago – it was so energetic, joyful, and oddly familiar.

(My lovely husband found the name of the music for me, and here’s a video of it. Are you familiar with it? It’s a stunning piece of organ playing!)

Joy sounds great, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want joy? And yet, I also feel scared & vulnerable whenever I feel strong emotions (even joy) and yesterday was no exception.

I’ve had my wedding and Sarah’s ordination in the last 2 months – it’s like the universe is giving me all the training I need, all at once, on strong emotions. Uh … thanks?!

So what am I learning? I’m learning to accept in the moment that I feel how I feel. I pause … breathe … and open up to the people around me if it’s feels safe enough to show them how I’m feeling.

Yesterday when I opened up, I was surprised & incredibly comforted to receive a big hug from my brother-in-law. He and I spoke briefly about our feelings, which we’ve never done before. And it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t opened up.

And through the process of opening up, I’ve also had important realisations: my sister and I are different in many ways. To name just one, she is a Methodist minister and I am an atheist.

Sometimes I worry that means we’re moving apart and I may be losing a part of my sister to a world that I’m outside and that I don’t/can’t understand.

And yet there are so many similarities, some of which I’m only seeing now we’ve known each other for 38 and a half years.

What crashed over me like a wave is that we are both finding our own way to love, on a grand scale, on different yet often-crossing paths. And I’m letting this settle on me now as another way to love.