I’m sitting on my porch and can see the mountains in the distance. And the sky is blue. And I don’t smell smoke. Today is shaping up to be a glorious day.
Thing is–every day can be a glorious day. Even the ones that begin with smoke heavy in the air and no mountains in the distance.
It’s all in how I frame it. The last several months I’ve had to work hard on being in the moment, on being grateful for what is–not wishing it would be different. This is, at times it seems, an exercise in futility.
Something is always beckoning for me to be irked by. Someone is doing something that I feel I must comment on. Someone said something that I am absolutely positive deserves a stinging response from me.
The truth is so much starker than that. In reality, there is nothing more important than the breath I take right now. Right here, right now. This moment is all I have. What I choose to spend that moment on will dictate how the next moment unfolds. The trick for me is realizing this and being able to take a step back, taking that deep, cleansing breath and saying to the Universe: “I am here. I am present. Give me what you’ve got.”
Then I can move to the next moment.
Easier said than done. So much easier said.
I don’t know what it is in my psyche, what was laid down long ago or what has been added to since, but it is truly a daily struggle for me to live peacefully. To be serene and calm with the world swirling around me. I wrote to someone that I long for serenity and stability in my world. After I typed those words I thought how absurd they were.
I am in charge of how serene or stable my world is or can be. Yes, there is chaos, confusion, despair, injustice dancing all around me. But I do not need to jump into that miasma. I can take a step back, take a deep breath and decide for myself and the health of my family how to proceed.
I can plan a path through the uncertainty. There is much to be said for the saying “I am the captain of my own ship.” The chaos doesn’t dictate to me my actions. I can choose to pick my way through it, knowing when and where to engage, knowing when to back off.
I’m being intentionally obtuse about said chaos. There is no one single thing that is irking me, that is causing disruption in my soul. It is a collection of where we are today as a nation that is creating this unrest inside. I cannot put words to paper, so to speak, regarding the angst I feel as the angst is multi pronged and threatens to overwhelm me. To drag me under into that swirling black hole of despair. I am close to it. I have been dancing at the edge of it for many months now.
Some days it seems all I can do to take another step. I hesitate to even type those words. I live a life of immense privilege. I have everything I need at this moment to be secure in my survival. My little family is healthy, safe and sound. We have what we need–physically. But emotionally and mentally and spiritually, we are hurting. We see what is transpiring all around us. Some people are able to walk through this life without being overcome with emotion at the suffering all around. They are not bad people. They are not uncaring or cold or hard. They are simply able to walk a path for themselves that doesn’t get mired down in misery and despair. I envy those people. I have always been highly sensitive to suffering. Perhaps that explains my career paths. I am keenly aware of emotional pain of others–both the two-leggeds and the four-leggeds. I seem to absorb this and internalize it….at which time it wreaks havoc on my own mental health.
I’m in that place now. A constant stream of emotional pain seems to be bombarding me from all sides. I find I need to turn it off for my own survival, but at the same time I am forced to keep moving forward into those areas of perceived pain. I cannot disengage completely as I would like to.
I am not sure if any of my words make any sense. I just know that sitting here with the cold breeze (fall is surely close) and the blue sky I am aware of the blessings in my life. I am aware of the need to affirm my gratitude for those blessings. I am also aware of the absolute necessity of recharging my soul. Girding myself for the battles to come by taking a step back when I can and learning to be in the moment of peace.
I have this moment. I will relish it and be grateful for it.
Namaste. Blessed be.