It's the irony of acceptance--that nothing can move forward until you accept the moment you're in, welcome it, even. And, man, that's hard when the moment is so divinely uncomfortable. But what choice have we? There's no escape from ourselves. Well, I suppose there is, but it's expensive--to body, mind, wallet, and soul. And it's not like that kind of drastic escapism isn't short-lived for its high price.
Eventually, whether we like it or not, the bottom rushes up to meet us, and there ain't no avoiding that thud. And when that happens? I think all we can do is find a steady wall to lean on and just sit there. Sit there until it becomes, maybe not normal, maybe not comfortable, but bearable. Bearable becomes routine, and routine allows us to focus on something OTHER than our discomfort.
THAT'S the trick, THAT'S how you know you've "won"--you're able to focus on something other than discomfort. Imagine! The hard work isn't the pain you're in; the hard work is letting that pain in unti...
Maybe we'd be better off if we just saw everything as a beginning. Maybe we'd have more faith in ourselves, in the world, and in the possibility of optimism as a sustainable worldview. Maybe it's as simple as that--a change in language, switching out one word for another.
Let the endings take care of themselves, knit themselves neatly and tuck in their trailing threads while we begin again. Again.
It's our default mode--hoping that each day will be different while assuming (i.e. BELIEVING) that each will be the same (i.e. dull, bad, difficult, pointless, etc.). In this way of learned beliefs, growing up is a travesty. It robs us of that ability to wonder, FOR wonder. It teaches us that everything is hard--not only that, it teaches us that everything is of panic-level importance.
But guess what--everything is NOT hard and everything is NOT important. Some stuff just IS--it's neither good nor bad, difficult or easy. It just IS. And other things? They're marvelous--more often than not (Yes! MORE often than not), as long as we leave ourselves alone long enough to realize it.
Our strident inner taskmaster is learned behavior. And you know, we don't even need to un-learn it. We just need to forget it. To shrug it off. To invoke teenage rebellion against ourselves and invite in the little things--singing too loudly, dancing a little too wildly (or dancing at all, come to think of it),...
It's amazing the work we make for ourselves, isn't it? Especially when it would be so breathtakingly easy simply to watch the rising sun and take it as the sign that it is--that you're headed in the right direction, that every day you spend stepping toward, leaning into, the light is a day of progress.
There are no wasted days--even those spent fumbling around in shadows of our own making. There is always something to learn. There is always something to uncover, to discover, or to give--at long last--a decent burial.
Light and shadow teach us that there are some things best left behind and others necessary for the journey.
Be grateful, too, for unanswered prayers. I read that somewhere, and it's never failed to make me feel immensely better, as if we're not out here on our own, as if there IS a guiding hand gently nudging us first in one direction, then away from another. Because we don't know, we can't know, we might as well believe. We might as well believe in a higher good, a compassionate universe whose joy is in our joy.
If we can believe that, the rest becomes a little less important, a little less fraught, a little less like a constant flirting with deadlines and a little more just, well, flirting--with life and chance and the thrill of the unknown.
Because maybe you really are supposed to be here, and maybe it really is okay not to know what comes next.
Because it *is* art, this life--and art doesn't have to be beautiful. It doesn't even have to make sense or have some greater meaning. It only has to evoke, provoke, inspire its viewer to be better or different or other or like. It just has to move you--toward or away.
Movement and stillness--that's our dance; that's what we're learning.
Remember--it's just a day, neither good nor bad, but here and sacred and worthy of your attention, no matter what is (or isn't) on your to-do list.
We have to unlearn our negativity, our dread, our anxiety and replace it with wonder--with force, if necessary. Because it is wonderful--even if it hurts you to say it because of circumstance, say it anyway. Say it until you can pretend to believe it and then say it until it means nothing and then say it and say it and say it until it means everything.
We have nurtured and bred within ourselves a penchant for catastrophic thinking. We're really good at worst-case-scenario. And perhaps at one point that was necessary, for an instant or two in our lives when it was best to be prepared. But when did it become a habit? When did expecting the worst become the reality?
And here's the worst (ha!) of it--we begin to believe that not only will the assumed horrors happen, but that we are deserving of them. We've learned to forget that good things can happen for us, that we are the kinds of beings who experience luck and goodwill and a universal generosity of spirit.
Hard to believe, isn't it? Well, why not? What have we to lose but a disturbing dependence on darkness?
Change is hard--there's a deep thought for you, petals. And I'm with you--I'm 100% happy (okay...92.2% happy) keeping to my routine, changing nothing. But the hard truth is, if we don't change, if we don't sit and breathe through the discomfort of transition, then we'll never experience the beautiful expansion, the broader worldview that acres and acres of new space provides.
We move or we die--that's a brutal truth, but it's also a marvelous opportunity. If it helps, change is inevitable--it's out of our hands. It's one of the (many, many) things over which we have no control--and there's a lovely freedom in that. Embrace it, trudge through it, but no matter how you approach change, be grateful for it--it proves you're still alive, still sparking enough to generate your own heat, your own evolution.