We are so lovely, and what's heartbreaking is how rarely we realize it. Loveliness has nothing to do with age or genetics, products or clothing, size or stature. We are nature and essence, mineral and bone, color and light. We change with time, moment to minute to decade, and that transition is poetry, artistry. And if we can live the transitions? Actually reside in our impermanence, celebrating its ephemerality, well, we are unstoppable blazes of pure energy, and there is nothing more beautiful or more inspiring, than the awareness of abundance, and the possibility of constant creation and re-creation.
I have gained very little in my life from my in-born propensity for pessimism, from my habit of focusing on the negative. And though I have tried to wrench myself toward optimism, toward a more positive outlook, it's never stuck.
And I wonder why I'm so often crippled by anxiety (I don't wonder, actually...).
Do you know what it is? Why I can't seem to shift my outlook? Because it feels fake. Because it feels like, if I hope for and believe in the best, that I'll be constantly disappointed, and my fear is that that disappointment will lead to worse anxiety, eventually spiraling into depression.
Ha! This is obviously NOT the inner monologue of an optimist.
But anyway, here's my plan. I'm going to try one more time. Even if it feels like I'm faking it. Even if there's no feeling of belief or conviction behind it, I'm going to try to shift to the positive. Every time my brain launches a negative attack, a worst-case-scenario, I'm going to counter it with something positive, with be...
Ever see someone try to leave the dock, only to realize they're still tethered to it? There's always a moment of confusion, of gunning the engine because *surely* more force is the answer.
More force is very rarely ever the answer.
We can't force ourselves to be kind, to be brave, to be content, to be satisfied. I mean, we can, but it's short-lived and not very pleasant or honest. But what we can do is allow it. In other words, stop fighting the tide, the cycle that *wants* to carry us away from the shore if only we'd stop struggling for a second and look around for what's holding us back.
Now. I say this while living with something that, at the moment I cannot change and that, in the immediate, impacts my sleep and my quality of life. But what can I do? Painful as it is even to write this--I just have to surrender. I have to surrender to time and hope and faith and the belief that we can be healed and that we can heal all aspects of our lives--physical, emotional, external, internal....
Perhaps we underestimate what we know, what we remember from what we've learned. But we certainly don't give ourselves enough credit for what we've learned through belief, through channels we can't immediately, necessarily, explain.
Like it or not, explain it or not, we are intuitive creatures. We hear far more than we acknowledge, and we learn far more from the unknown, the unseen, than we can imagine.
There's a comfort in believing that, if you're here, you're meant to be here, at least, for now. After all, you can only move forward from where you're standing, and you can, likewise, only move forward while looking in that direction. The best gift we can give ourselves is forgiveness--forgiveness for the mistakes in our past that wake us up at night, forgiveness for believing in what we consider foolish dreams, forgiveness for not being our best selves all the time.
We have to allow so much--we have to allow ourselves to fail, to be mistaken, to try and try and try. But for that to matter, for it to mean anything, we have to forgive each other. And we have to believe. To try and believe accomplishes nothing. It's not a thing you can attempt. You can only believe by living belief, by being belief.
Just stop thinking. Stop criticizing. Stop diagramming. Just breathe and keep going.
I too often forget how not alone we are at any given moment, in any given place. Surprising, considering, I grew up hearing voices and spending nights in my grandparents' quite haunted house. Not to mention being lucky enough to be blessed with a sister who has an uncanny ability to know what's coming and when.
But when I remember, what a relief it is to be lifted from a place of alone-ness. What a relief to realize that, though metaphor may they be, all the fantasy novels have it right--there's something out there.
But then I've always been comfortable with the inexplicable nature of spirit. It's such a relief to have a collection of worlds that we can't micromanage, pick apart, predict, or muddy in the messiness that is part and parcel of having a body, of having an ego.
It's lovely to think of history and future, simultaneously swirling around us, reminding us that maybe this day/week/year drags on, but oh, the rest goes by so quickly.
A reminder to remember spirit because that's wh...
As it happens all too often, I've spent a great deal of my weekend going over and over the coming week (especially the parts I'm dreading--we do know how to do ourselves in, even on the loveliest of days, don't we?) in my head, as if I were already there, as if the moment won't carry me through like it has every other day of my life.
I'm not sure when we'll learn, but I do know that this morning I'm tired, and it's no mystery why.
Hope is our dearest possession--easy to come by when we're small, harder and harder to find as we get older. And though it seems easier to give up, to give in to pessimism and the so-called reality born of experience, it isn't. It isn't easier to live without hope. Yes, of course we'll meet with disappointment, but wouldn't it be better for our health *not* to assume the worst? Prepare, certainly, but not out of fear or expectation, but out of personal responsibility and common sense.
But keep hope. Without it we will flounder and flail and become something substantially less than human.
The hardest thing is faith. I think we try so hard at everything else, all the other minutiae of our lives until we're so micromanaged, we chalk the whole thing up, at worst, as a giant failure or, at best, an exercise in frustration.
But if we could just focus on one thing, wouldn't that be so much easier? And what's more all-encompassing than faith? Granted, it sounds easy--just have faith and you'll solve everything. If only! But I think if we could just work toward that one thing, practice that one thing, then maybe the rest would fall into place?
After all, faith has a vast, spacious, and generous umbrella--faith in ourselves, faith in each other, faith in community, faith in the universe, and on and on. So, I'll say it--have faith. Have faith in your ability to be open to possibility. Have faith in your ability to get your sweet self through today and every day following. Start there, and have faith that the rest will fall into place.