Today I wrote that I do “sad” well and a dear friend was kind enough to remind me I do “happy” well too.
My last post was an invitation to joy. You see, I am learning to find joy inside. I am embracing love and gratitude. In fact I am yelling at times: Joy, Love, Gratitude, to no one in particular but because it makes me feel good.
God I want to feel good. Or, so as not to offend, I am telling the universe that I want to feel love and joy and gratitude in every breath, yes—every breath.
My mom is dying—I want gratitude for her life and love for all she is.
My husband and I separated but are talking now and I want joy at the possibility of what can be.
My kitty has kidney stones and the operation is more than either of us can afford but I want gratitude that my husband worked a way into getting her what she needs with a pay later plan.
Yet today two times, or was it three, I was in tears! Tears! Ulgh.
I go to sadness because it is comfortable. I go to sadness because, I reason, I have so many reasons to be sad and grief and I grew up together. I go to sadness because I know it. I go there because I go there.
But let me be real because I am doing my best to get there: I go to sadness because I am sad.
I am sad even though I can write meditations on gratitude and confidence and joy. I am sad because of how I choose to live my life. Yes—it is a choice I make every day.
I choose to make a life where I do all I do because I should: I should go to work; I should pay my bills; I should save money; I should take care of those I love; I should nurture my students; I should listen with respect to everyone; I should accept everyone no matter what; I should eat right; I should sleep enough; I should do yoga and aerobics; I should even relax and I should read and study.
Yesterday someone asked me what I do for fun. Fun? I write.
I love to teach. I love to share with friends. I love yoga but that too has become something I should do.
And the irony is I know I am not alone. I know many of us live in the world of should. I know women whose lives revolve around their families. I have friends where their shame defines them. I know many who live as the walking wounded, building a life around the hurts and betrayals they cannot reconcile.
I am not alone.
And I know there are people who get up with joy in the morning and know how to feed their spirit.
And I know I can learn. I know the root of what I feel comes from something deep inside that is crying to let go of doing what is right in any moment and listening to my heart and feeding the love I know I am. Some people thrive on order. Some people thrive on organization.
I thrive around people. I thrive when I am creative. I thrive on listening to the wind and going where it blows. I thrive on paying my bills, yes, but I am so weighed down in how I do what I do that I am not doing what I need to do.
What I need to do is what I want to do. I want to be responsible and whole. I want to be happy. I want to laugh often and cry when the moment asks it. But I don’t want to live in grief because all I can feel is the heaviness of my wounded-ness.
I know that the grief I go to stays with me because I never let it go through me when the moment asks for it.
Well yes we all have traumas. We have all suffered. But my heart is on its knees in prayer saying: I surrender the wounds, I let go of the pain and I will find the joy in the truths that take me to the moon at night and the sun during the day.
No one said this being alive is easy. And no one said it has to be hard either.
Today I realize I am change. Today, I hover above the silence and whisper my hope into the candle that flickers in front of me.
I love my mom. She will die soon and I will miss her—but I know all she is lives in me and that is what I must live.
I love my husband. We had a rough summer and now we are getting to know each other again in a dance where the steps aren’t clear and the music is new but the foundation we have is strong and I know whatever happens, we’ll both stand stronger and lighter than before, whether as friends or mates.
I love my job. I love teaching. I love yoga. I seek to find the joy of movement not because I need to lose weight or should practice because I teach but simply because it feels good.
I have bills and with help I have found I will find a way to balance what I have and what I want with what must be done.
And as you may have heard me say before, I have my Muse. She never leaves.
Whether writing to candlelight like tonight or sitting at a café or streaming some show I only half watch, she humors me and keeps me company and I do have fun.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons