“Truly, we know that we cannot really subsist on little sips of life. The wild force in a woman’s soul demands that she have access to it all.” ~ Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Several years ago, my eldest child was settling into adulthood and as a parent it was hard on me. As parents, we always want the best for our children and having had him early in life at 19, I wanted him to have everything that I didn’t have as a young adult. I wanted him to be ecstatic with joy and, when that reality didn’t materialize in the way I wanted it to, I perceived it to be a problem. The truth was and is that my son knew himself and the problem wasn’t him but rather my expectations and unwillingness to accept that we must walk our path and that our path is ours. Sometimes the internal and external don’t line up.
I have been thinking about that time in life as several friends and others have recently reached out to me asking if I am okay. The truth is I am okay but sometimes life throws us curveballs and sometimes it throws many curveballs at us at once. Sometimes our days are less about the joyful hours and more about eking out just one perfect minute that gives us the strength to keep on keepin’ on.
Ours is a culture that thrives on the happy and joyful spaces yet gives little space for the the very real moments that, while painful and sometimes even uncomfortable, are the moments where we learn who we really are in the midst of discomfort. Rarely do we talk openly about the trials and tribulations of life and yet as I dive deeper into this middle space, I am learning that to be fully human, I must give space and honor the uncomfortable moments.
Yoga and meditation have in recent years served as the tools that moved me beyond the almost crippling anxiety that once consumed me. This year they have been the tools that have allowed me to sit in the flames of midlife as I realize that this thing we call life doesn’t always deal us the hand we desire or believe is rightfully ours. Life sometimes deals the shittiest cards from the bottom of the deck and our job is to stay in the game long enough to get some better cards. It isn’t always pretty but the longer we spend on what I lovingly refer to as this dusty rock, we realize that these moments do pass though not always on our schedule.
There is no manual to this life game, in many ways we are all winging it and doing the best that we can. Yet for me, I choose to acknowledge the uncomfortable; not to revel in it but to recognize that being fully human is to experience the full spectrum of human emotions and not to run from the uncomfortable moments. Rather, to stare back at them with steely eyes and let them know that the better times will come again. In this moment, the seas are rough but calmer seas are ahead…I can feel it in my bones as I prepare for the next stage of the journey where I embrace the wildness and fullness of both myself and my journey. May you find joy in your own journey and keep passing the open windows until the day in which the body and spirit take flight in the next realm.
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