I was in the middle of a crisis. Every technique had failed. I was ready to give up. My rationale on quitting started and ended with the premise that coaching a housewife through a Outward Bound ropes course was not that important. “Who would know? Who cares?”
A random thought crossed my mind and I heard my voice kicking into gear.
“You have kids, right?” With her puzzled nod, “give me a deep cleansing breath.” Wait a three count, firmness settling in, “Now.”
With the breath came a cleansing of the soul, tension, and belief that she could not possibly complete the robes course. It was as if physically, mentally, a cleansing was needed.
Recent experiences remind me that cleansing breaths have many forms. The first was predictable yet unexpected. In the middle of a courtyard between tall towers, smokers, people using the cash machines (ATMs), and others were taking quiet breaks. While you can see people talking, nature dominates the senses. You can hear the gentle breeze. You can feel the heat or rain depending on the time of day. In an otherwise peaceful setting, as I queued for my turn at the bank, we were collectively startled by one of the most intense, skin tingling, what is going on screams I have ever heard. As I looked, I could see a man and woman laughing at the situation. It seems as her scream of release coupled our fear in response, was the trigger for laughter and hope.
In guy terms, a guttural “what the *&^%” was offered at a volume level heard three shops away. Even though I was part of the conversation, I did not see it coming. I realized that this and the screaming of tires heard soon afterwards (nothing to do with each other, just coincidence), were screams from the heart.
Life reminds me that we need to scream. It’s helpful to have a time and place. Regardless, we need to scream. Besides, “when I kept it all inside, my bones turned to powder, my words became daylong groans.” (Psalm 32.3)