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...
We are primed to respond to alarmist news, to gossip, to anything that feeds on fear or anxiety or anticipation. We know this, and yet (and yet!) we fall for it every time. We fall for the dread and we fall into our old litany, and all it means is that we forget to breathe. We forget to remember that we've been here before, and we forget--most of all and most profoundly--how strong we are, how capable, and how often we've heard this song before.
I am an expert mountains-from-molehills maker, and it's only recently that I've realized this is my default setting. Can I rewire that? I don't know. Now that I have perspective, now that I see worst-case-scenario is not the always-reality, maybe. But maybe this information is enough--not everything is deserving of panic. "Normal" people do twice as much on a "normal" day without a ruffled feather to be found.
So does that make my experience any less valid? I don't know. Maybe. Maybe it's nothing more than a case of conditioning. I don't need to begin each day as if I'm the awkward new kid in class. Really, probably, no one even notices me--and, honestly, that's some kind of comfort.
So often are we caught in the whirlwind of our own orbit that we have no idea the impact we have on those spinning alongside us. Petals, we are so loved. We are being willed to succeed, to be happy, to be complete, and we've forgotten for so long that we've ceased to believe it. We've ceased believing in support, relying all too heavily on our own dwindling resources.
Well, I admit it--most days I don't believe it either. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist, that there isn't a benign force constructed out of our own and others' goodwill, peppered with a hefty dose of loving kindness from the unseen. If there were ever a time of year to remember, to humor old beliefs in hopes they'll garner new ones, this is it.
I, for one, am tired of entertaining that draining house guest, Worst Case Scenario, within these walls.
It's a dubious gift, sensitivity, and the longer I wander through this world, the more I wonder if the trade-off is worth it. Not that we have much choice--we are as we were made, and all we can do is shield and adjust and accept. But does anyone else find that constant shielding, adjusting, and adapting exhausting? I think at that point--that point of exhaustion--is when the fear sets in.
Unfortunately for us, this is an undiscriminating fear--it can take any shape, any form and, armed with such versatility, can jump out at us where and when least expected. We get to a point where we can no longer voice or react to such triggers for fear (!!) of being thought hopeless, helpless, alarmist, or just plain pitiful. High-strung. Anxiety-prone. **Sensitive.**
Well, as all too often is the case, I have no answer. It's not a satisfying solution, but I suppose I'll keep walking, armed (shielded) to the hilt with my stones and crystals, spells and layers and hope for easy passage.
We're always running up against sharp edges, whether difficult decisions or the weight of another day's routine. What gets us through, on the healthy days, is mindfulness--finding simple joy in food, fulfilling work, leisure, and good company. All too often, at least in my experience, that kind of mindfulness, that kind of joy, is elusive.
Without easy access to joy, we're left seeking comfort (comfort that supports us rather than numbs us) for the resilience to make it through our days--a skill we've honed over many years and whose means are absolutely necessary and no one's business but our own.
I wake up every morning, hoping things will be different, better--but never expecting it. I think, perhaps, that's where I'm going wrong. Even if we don’t get it, if we could only genuinely expect the best from ourselves, from this day, certainly that would make us a more deserving legacy for those who, with so much less certainty, hoped for so much more.
We're so universally tired--and, yes, maybe it's the change in seasons. Maybe it's the weird flu that's steamrolling through our various home- and workplaces, but maybe it's the stage in our climb. Maybe we've all been slogging up this mountain for so long with no glimpse of the summit that we're not even sure we're on the path anymore.
At this point, then, when feet and minds move by rote and not by inspiration, we need to sit, to rest, to notice the path is there, the air really is a bit fresher, cooler than when we started. And then, with the promise of the peak, we climb on.