I close my eyes and exhale completely.
For a turn of a page in time, I am still.
Then I allow my eyes to open and the first thing I see is her, sitting on our TV stand playing with candles and Little People.
My heart dances and I know that no matter what lies ahead for me—or for her—that this space—this paused moment to breathe, expand my lungs with air, and take in everything around me—is what makes my life feel fulfilling.
The places in my life that I have wanted to run away from—and those instances when I’ve wanted to pound the pavement away from myself—are, strangely, the places that have lasted the longest.
Surely this is partially due to the discomfort within my circumstances or my heart, but, equally, life’s discomfort lasts much, much longer when we turn away from being present within our pain.
Drinking, starving, overeating, exercising—these are all ways that we can attempt to escape our reality, but none of them work. Instead, we become entangled—entrenched—further and further in misery by adding weight onto our burdens rather than lightening them.
Some pain cannot be relieved overnight.
Some pain, in my experience, seemingly takes a lifetime to dissolve, and some I’m not convinced ever really gets alleviated in one human experience.
But we have no choice.
To be our best versions of ourselves, and to live our best days, we must feel it all.
I have to hold my disquieted heart in my exposed hands and understand that part of my life is about experiencing sorrow, grief, anger and a plethora of ugly heart-impressions that hang out inside of a human interior.
I feel the way that my soul seems to rise up into the crown of my head from indescribable joy; filling up every nook and crevice of my being.
And I feel everything in between, including my more frequent, average-day disposition.
So as I prepare to close the book of this day, I contemplate where I sit, right now.
And as I sit here writing this the tears are clouding behind my eyes and now slightly blurring my vision and now falling gently down my cheeks, and I know that I’m still holding onto certain emotions—and I’m okay with that.
I’m alright with my slightly tense neck and, also, my buoyant heart—bolstered by a day of love from the little girl perched on top of the TV stand.
I accept that today I stood in my frustration. I walked with my resentments. I held hands with my hurt and my guilt. Because, at the end of my day, when I turn another page the words that settle there are mine to write—and I can’t wait to see what tomorrow helps me compose.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
This article was first published by elephant journal.