"I needed to love on them a little bit." J-hey
I left the country two days after the Cubs won the World Series. On the way to airport I was watching the parade where 5 million people showed up to cry, cheer, wave their W flag and show their gratitude for their beloved team. As I was boarding the plane I was trying to catch up on text messages from people who were sending their congrats and frantically scrolling my news feed trying not to miss one interview or news article.
Ten days later I returned to the states with a much different tone to the 380 text messages I had. Again frantically scrolling my news feed trying not to miss one interview or news article. I had been basically disconnected from the internet while I was away so I’m processing all that is happening in the world about a week later than everyone.
As I process, and still sway a bit from being on a boat for seven days, I’d like to reflect on a time which now seems like so very long ago, a time when all was right in the world. . . the night the Cubs won the World Series.
Game seven took place in Cleveland so the the Cubs were at bat first. Dexter Fowler, Cubs leadoff man, hits a solo home run. I’m still “preparing to watch the game” running around my house, lighting candles on my altar and I stop and say “all right, they came to play.” It’s a long game but I can’t help but have a huge smile face.
We get a few runs here and there, Cleveland gets a couple but the Cubs lead the whole game. We have a pitching change that we are all like. . . mmmmmmm. . . but we trust you Joe, you got us here. It’s 5-3 in the fourth. In the 5th, Grandpa Ross, playing his last professional game ever, just a few innings away from retiring, comes to bat and hits a homerun. 6-3 Cubs! I’m contemplating where I’ll be popping the champagne. My phone is going crazy.
Fast forward 8th inning. The Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman comes in with two outs. We now have four outs left to win the game. So much excitement!
Cleveland ties it up. Silence.
Now we are Cubs fans. In the past when something like this happens it’s like the air has been let out of the room. I can’t speak for anyone else, I have yet to ask how others how they felt, but for me, I didn’t sense it was over. I had faith.
What happened next was the most interesting turn of events. Some would say it started raining. I say, the heavens opened. The tarp comes out and they call a rain delay. What happened in those 17 minutes is what I always want to remember this team for and what has actually gotten me through the processing of the events in our country since that night.
Jason Heyward (J-hey) calls the guys into the weight room. Joe Maddon is quoted saying “I’m not a meeting guy, but I love when the guys meet.” The room is somber, guys are crying, and Jey-hey says “You know what, whatever’s happened up to this point. . . it’s over. We are still the best team. We need to pull together and chip away. We are going to win this game.”
When Heyward was asked about this pep talk he said, “I just needed to remind these guys how good they are, how special they are and that everybody in that room can get the job done. I sensed that they needed to hear it from somebody. They needed to be reminded how good they are. I need to love on them a little bit.”
“I needed to love on them a little bit.” I remember thinking when I first read this, “wow, look at what the power of love can do.”
I know that right now in America some people are optimistic, some joyful, others content, a lot confused, angry, saddened or absolutely fearful. Personally, I sway back and forth, both literally and emotionally, I’m not sure when I’ll feel again like I’m solid ground. What I have heard repeatedly from my community in the short time I’ve been back is, “I need yoga”. And the simple reason for this is because yoga is a tool that we’ve been given that allows us to remember. To remember the truth of who we are. To open and strengthen the body, to clear the mind, to balance our emotional state and to eventually connect with the part of us that is bigger than us. The presence that holds us upright that is beyond muscle, tissue, skin and bone. Some call it God, consciousness, the light, spirit, Universe. I believe it’s the thread, the unifying force that reminds us that we are all connected, all the same.
I truly have faith that I am exactly where I need to be and that what is happening in the world around me is exactly what needs to be happening. That this is an awakening. We are being reminded that the shadow exists. It’s alive and has come to the surface affecting the lives of people that have forgotten it’s still there. My practice reminds me that I can see the shadow and hold steady the vision of what I want to embody in this life. Hold steady the vision for what I want for future generations.
I look at my nieces and nephews and pray that they will live in a world where we are all equal, where they will not be judged by their gender, race or who they chose to love. And that they will not be able to fathom judging others for such things. That they will have freedom over their bodies, that they will not be harassed because they are deemed “lesser than”. I pray that they will be able to use their voices equally. That they will embrace the power of who they are so completely that they will be so connected to the truth that they will only know how to spread love.
What happened in that 17 minute rain delay was the power of love. It won a World Series and can be equally applied in the confusion of current events today.
“You know what [America; women, men, black, white, immigrants, lesbian, gay, transgender, PEOPLE], whatever’s happened up to this point. . . it’s over. We are still the best team. We need to pull together and chip away. We are going to win this game.”
Maybe we all need to be reminded how good life really is, how special we ALL are and to look at the people around you standing in truth and love and say “we got this”.
“I sensed that they needed to hear it from somebody. They needed to be reminded how good they are. I needed to love on them a little bit.”
It often feels like we can do so little. But we can all love on someone a little bit. And that always begins with the sweet self that you see in the mirror every day. Look at who you are. Look at those around you. Look at what love can do.