I return. Although I am not sure where I went.
I am emerging from one of those periods of time when life turns in on itself. I don’t remember exactly when it began but I know it started with tiny explosions. At first just a few – maybe once a week. A mini-grenade would detonate – illness, arguments, drama. Life would become derailed and I would lose focus.
Then one day I realized I was constantly tiptoeing through a minefield. I felt like a wild animal – eyes wide, muscles tense – ready to jump, run , flee. What happened? How did it happen? I thought I was paying attention. How did everything unravel when I was holding the yarn so lovingly in my hands? How did a life I cared for so deeply and tenderly fall into pieces on the ground?
Because it had to be broken to be set right.
In the past six months everything came down around my feet … and I mean everything: I became pregnant, I had a miscarriage, left my marriage, sold my home, moved, had my heart broken …
And I am fine. I am exhausted and raw – but I am fine.
What have I learned?
that happiness is a choice, always
that sometimes conflict is an act of peace
that sometimes leaving is an act of love
and that things fall apart
As the wise and beautiful Pema Chodron once said,
‘the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.’
Everything moves and changes and shifts this way and that. Such is life. But can we make room for the changes to occur? We are all so afraid of things falling apart that we hold on tightly. I realized that I had to let go.
We run from change, just like we run from our death – when instead we need to be turning towards our life, the one that is standing right in front of us. Often it is uncomfortable but it is ours and that is where the beauty can be found.
What this experience has reminded me of is that underneath all of the upheaval there is a place that is steady and strong and it is within us all. I promise. But this place is subtle and quiet and we have to get very still if we are to find it.
It has been difficult for me to remain still. The pull has been so powerful, the undertow tugging at my feet. When everything around me is spinning so wildly, it is hard to trust the stillness. But I have had this voice whispering in my ear.
‘Close your eyes, don’t look out there. Look in here. This is where you will find the truth.’
That voice was right.
In all of my vulnerability – this comes to you with the biggest of love. J