I have spent most of my life preoccupied with being happy “when _______”… When I have more money. When I am out of debt. When I lose weight. When I have a better job. When I don’t live here anymore. When I catch up. When I get more organized… If I wasn’t thinking “I’ll be happy when…”, I was thinking I would be happy ‘if only’. If only that person wasn’t in my life. If only that person was still in my life. If only my son didn’t have special needs. If only I had been born into a different family. If only I looked like her…
This past year has been one of the most painful and joyous of my life. Many things have worked out perfectly and many things have felt like they were going terribly wrong. I’ve faced fear on a level I never knew before. I’ve also experienced love, acceptance and a sense of belonging on a level I never knew before. I’ve grown more than I ever knew I needed to. I’ve felt the greatest joy and the deepest sorrow of my life. I recognized most of my suffering boiled down to wanting something to be different than it was. The roller coaster I’ve been on was created by pretending things were the way I wanted them and then being crushed when reality reminded me they weren’t.
Today, I felt something new… I am happy to be here. HERE… NOW…. The future is full of promise but it’s uncertain. None of us know how many days we will have breath on this planet. Everything we think we know can change in an instant. But none of that has happened yet!
There’s a chant we sing in a women’s circle I regularly attend with the line “now is the only moment”. Truly… NOW is the only moment. Happiness isn’t found in the next thing. Happiness is right here, right now. Contentment. Peace. Being. Belonging… It’s all RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW. Like Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz”… “if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” I GET IT NOW!
I survived for a long time by suppressing unpleasant feelings. Distracting myself from them. Pretending they weren’t there (I’m VERY good at that!). Sadness, loneliness and anger still aren’t my favorite feelings to feel but I’m learning if I block them, I miss out on a big part of life. I block my growth and I ultimately sabotage myself from being able to have the life I desire to live. I keep myself from feeling fully joyful too…
I like to think I have no problem being outspoken or going against the grain. Sometimes I have been caught being contrary just to prove it to myself (blush). I am often described as “strong” and “free-spirited” but…. I’ve had trouble speaking my mind in my most intimate relationships. I didn’t want to risk losing the person I loved. I thought my last husband and I had it figured out, having difficult conversations instead of avoiding them. We DID do a good job having tough conversations but… we avoided the toughest one for over a decade. When we finally had it, we decided to end our marriage.
It’s through our breakup that I realize how much he loves me and how much I love him. True, pure love. Not romantic. Not the kind for selfish interest… The kind that wants the very best for the other person. Friendship love. Familial love. I feel sad thinking about the good times we shared in the past. We had some really GOOD TIMES… But they are over now. In a lot of ways, I missed out on all they could be, worried they would end… but when they did, it was for the best. Go figure!
I was reminded at a recent conference in order to have a healthy life, our hearts, heads and hands need to be in alignment. If our heads are acting in conflict with our hearts, or vice versa, we experience stress. If our heads and hearts are in conflict with what we are doing, that’s addiction. I’ve done all three…
So, friends… I’m working on living in alignment. My heart is strong and knows exactly what it wants. My head is smart and watches out for potential trouble but it’s not as wise as my heart. And my hands will do whatever I choose… May they bring blessings to everyone I touch.
From my heart to yours,
Thanks for reading