I was sitting in meditation earlier today and it occurred to me that the self of my future won’t suffer from my current problems, because I will have outgrown them. But then I realized, I’ll have new problems. I wondered what my new problems will be when I’ve outgrown my current ones. And then I realized I’m looking forward to the different problems I’ll have when I’ve outgrown my current ones. Well…time to start growing faster! Time to start growing better! Time to start growing more intentionally, and productively and strategically and— wait, what? I can’t control how I grow? I guess I’ll just take a deep breath, and rest in gratitude for what is here now.
Part of navigating this whole time of uncertainty has been learning how to let go of expectations and go with the flow. I know, I know… I’m not saying anything new or earth shattering, but it’s new for me to let go of control and just accept this moment as it is. I am not complacent, don’t get me wrong— I still have preferences, ideas, desires, wishes— but the difference is, I’m practicing welcoming what is here in this moment, and choosing how to respond from a place that is deeper than what my ego thinks it wants or deserves. I’m glad to know that this is a practice, because I’ve been trying so long to be perfect, and it’s just exhausting, so exhausting, trying to get everything right. Now, I’ll just breathe. I’ll take a slow deep breath, and I’ll give thanks. I’ll give thanks for this moment, this one moment of my life.
The ground is shifting constantly, never the same, so how can I build anything right now? Maybe it’s time to let things fall apart, and see what’s left after the winds of change blow through. I’d like to have some kind of plan, a goal, a vision, something that helps me feel like there’s a future and I have some control over the outcome… But this is a war humans have been fighting since they knew they could fight and where has it gotten us? Maybe I’m better off simply breathing and allowing myself to be right here, right now. Breathing and being. Yeah. That has a nice ring to it.
Trust…this ability to have no idea what’s happening next but going ahead and trying anway. Today I had a chance to practice trust as I created a painting. Two years ago I had a chance to practice trust as my marriage fell apart. Every day I have the opportunity to trust the process of life. I give thanks to the teachers, mentors and guides who have shown me that it’s safe to let go and trust. May you trust the inherent wholeness of your life!
Forgiveness cannot be forced. When my family fell apart I tried to rush to forgiveness, thinking that it would speed up the healing process. But I was just engaging in spiritual bypassing— using my spirituality to circumvent the messy trenches of deep grief and traumatic loss. I prayed to God to show me the way, hoping I could fly over the dark valley and avoid what lurked there in the shadows of my deepest, darkest memories. I read books and listened to speakers, I attended meetings, I thought I knew what I was doing, but I was really attempting to avoid the inevitable. Finally I discovered that what I really needed was to allow myself to feel. I had to go through the grieving process. I had to face the loss of the life I knew, I had to take each day one at a time. Some days the pain was so intense I didn’t think I could live through it. People would tell me It won’t be like this forever; I didn’t believe them. Over time, as I remained clear and focused on my goal to find a place for me and my kids, I noticed the fog was lifting; I felt more like myself with each passing day. Looking back I see that it was my effort to heal that blocked the healing. It was my belief that things should be a certain way that kept me from embracing things as they were. And now I’m still working on forgiveness, but at least I have the sense now to allow that grace to come, naturally, when the time is right and my heart is ripe for such sweetness…
I’ve had this lingering cold since September, finally went to the doctor yesterday; she wants me to squirt stuff up my nose, gargle with salt water, and rest. I’m tired of feeling draggy, tired of living surrounded by boxes, tired of being tired. So today, I rested. And it’s nuts what the voices in my head tell me. Don’t be lazy. It’s not so bad. Look at your house! It’s deplorable. You should be ashamed of yourself! My overworking made me sick. And now I’m trying to get better… but somehow I’m not allowed to do the things that will help me get better? Another voice speaks. Discern the voice of truth. Listen a little more deeply. Hear the song of being. Let yourself heal.
As a teacher I can be in control; I tell you what to do, and I expect you to do it. But when I’m the student, I get antsy…I want to fiddle with things. Tonight I was a student in a breathwork class. I remembered the necessity of trust and surrender, allowing the teacher to hold the space for me. It felt strange at first, because I am chronically the one who does the holding. As I breathed and the layers of my emotional body were peeled back to reveal what was percolating underneath it all, I remembered the saying How you do anything is how you do everything. I thought about how LIfe as my teacher must get so frustrated with me, my fiddling. Life just wants me to trust and surrender, allowing the space to be held for me, allowing myself to be held.