It’s amazing how quickly the hours, minutes and days go by when your mind is occupied in a busy life. I think I’m reminded more so now than ever of the importance of taking a pause, a moment, a breath in the present to just appreciate all that has been, all that is and all that is to come without assigning any emotion to that.
In reflecting this morning, I realize what a winding steep and perilous road I have sometimes travelled. At other times, it felt like smooth sailing. At this time and in this stage of my life, I have to say that I am happier than ever I have been. I have meaningful work, a growing family, and I somehow managed to deal with grief. I’ll be honest, I don’t care for that part of life. It seems the things that wound us never really ever heal (sorry – spoilers). But if we give ourselves the space and the grace to be fully present with grief without resisting it, something shifts in our disposition. Some part of us begins to accept that grief as part of life and we learn that pain is okay to feel – it is nothing to fear – and we just tend to grow beyond those moments.
Acceptance has loomed large in my life with many lessons to affirm the need for it. I might like to throw temper tantrums because of “what is” in various aspects of my life but I know ultimately how I face something or not is a choice and that choice may extol more energy than I have (if in resistance) or apply just the right amount (if I allow what is to be). Ever since I heard the serenity prayer and took the time to really dive deep into what seems on the surface a simple string of phrases, I have learned the wisdom of it. At some point we have to decide if our resistance to what is makes sense to hold onto.
I’m a deeply sensitive soul and I have faced some pretty big emotional upsets in my life but I somehow learned to stand and remain flexible regardless. If we can learn to bend sometimes like a tree in a storm, flow instead of resisting, we’ll weather most storms. Sometimes the storms are just overwhelming in life – did you know it’s okay to crumple into a heap and cry it out? (I’m telling you – give yourselves permission to feel whatever you feel when you feel it – just don’t take action when in feeling mode. When in feeling mode, just feel – be with whatever it is – then take action in a healthy and appropriate manner that supports you and others).
I think for a while in my life I got hung up in trying to ascribe a reason for this or that lesson. While seemingly a pain-minimizing endeavor, sometimes we just don’t get any closure on things. You have to learn to deal with what you have, what you don’t know – you don’t know, and assumption is never a good idea. It isn’t an either or – assume or get the definitive answer exercise – in order to be okay. The one thing in life that is fact is that life is ever changing. The only thing that is the constant is change. When I run into rougher times I remember – “This too shall pass.” When I am enjoying happier times I remember – “This too shall pass” and I appreciate with much gratitude any moment of peace or happiness.
I understand much about people and sometimes that understanding that everyone is battling their own trauma’s, wars, environmental psychology etc. is all I need. I never let that excuse behavior I find untoward or indecent, but it does help me to realize much of what other people engage in along hurtful or unthinking lines is not personal for me. That thought doesn’t minimize the pain of the things that some people do but understanding that from one human to another – life is hard – I know all that I need to know, and I can set boundaries for myself in terms of what I can and cannot tolerate. In life, the one thing you must learn to do is stand up for yourself and your needs and that doesn’t have to be a battle of wills with another human to get them to understand your needs. In some cases, you can scream that crystal clear and the person you’re screaming at cannot take that onboard at all. That’s okay – some people are not for you, and you are not for some people. You don’t have to hate or hold grudges, just refocus on you and what you need to do for you.
Life is hard but when you look back, 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 years in a life, you see so many different versions of yourself while you were enmeshed in one life lesson or another. The same is true of your family and friends – different versions of them throughout the years. It doesn’t matter so much today who you were yesterday – what matters is who you are now – in this moment. Every moment is an opportunity to find realization, gratitude, acceptance, make plans and set goals and find something in our moments to appreciate. I find I can appreciate even the bad times even if only to think they won’t last forever. I find I can appreciate people – even the hurtful and mindless seeming ones. I do know they’re doing the best they can. I also know I don’t have to remain in proximity to those who are hurtful and hateful. I don’t have to add to their negative energy. I can lick my wounds and take a detour down any number of different life paths open to me when I and only when I remain open to finding them.
Sorry for the aimless and meandering thought journey this morning. I don’t often have the time to write these days. I appreciate more living life rather than trying to mentally figure it out, but old habits die hard. I still love my morning reflections over coffee when the house is quiet, and the cat is curled up right next to me. I’ve got projects to get started and I’m burning daylight. Wherever it is you find yourself on this great journey of your life, I hope you can take a moment to congratulate yourself for making it to this moment. It’s been no easy task and yet you have somehow managed to master it. Yay You! Be good to yourself today – acknowledge your efforts regardless of whether anyone else will. Do one thing at least today just for yourself. You deserve that kind of love and care from you to you.
Blessings for a great day on the journey that is your life. Remember – the Journey IS the Destination!
©October 2023, Janice L. Harter (photo and words)