The on the road to a more enlightened self and life, I am quick to share my “successes”—lessons learned with “good” results. Pleasantries and things that please and appease.
Part of my personal mission is to inject as much uplift and joy into the world as possible. After all, many folks are free with the negativity. If you’re in the mood to feel down or get outraged, you’ve got a lot of options. Start with the nightly news.
I aim to bring more balance into the world. My mentor in graduate school said, “Mary, it seems like you live in opposition.” And he’s kinda right. When I moved to the progressive western MA area, I got a little more conservative. Growing up in Republican Springfield, MO, I was a screaming liberal. That’s my nature, I reckon.
However, authenticity and integrity are values that rank high for me. In order to inject joy and uplift, I actually have to feel that way. And truth be told, I usually do. What you see, read, or hear is what you get. That’s me, baby.
But my authentic experience of this life includes ups and down. It’d be misleading then, to never write a blog post like this one, sharing my hardships, moments of grief and suffering that are wilier than I’d like. The kind that keep my mind racing while I’m trying to fall asleep at night and incite such fidgeting that I avoid my meditation cushion altogether.
So I’d like to tell you…
Right now my heart is breaking for a lost relationship right alongside incredible suffering-producing impatience for knowing and making my next move (re: physical location, job/career/income source, life in general). All this topped off with a generous scoop of self-doubt since my usual intuitive guidance system feels like it’s malfunctioned. I went from impatience to frustration to heartbreak to total surrender in two days time.
I haven’t given up, but I’ve loosened my grip. I’m taking a breather and taking time just to feel what it’s like to be here. Perplexed and wanting. Hurt. In and out of tears.
All this has stimulated me to think about the ultimate goal in my efforts for self-growth. It’s not the end result I desire to change. That is, I’m not aiming to eliminate suffering entirely (or I’d shave my head and get to meditating 15 hours a day at a monastery).
I am seeking, however, to work with my relationship to the inevitable pain that arises in life…and the inevitable pleasure. The mark of improvement for me is in how I process the bliss and the turmoil. Can I truly feel what it’s like to be with joy? To sit with a broken heart? How tightly do I hold onto the pleasant things? How hard do I try to avoid the pain of the unpleasant?
This is our shared journey. The human experience. And to that end, I offer up this humble post and share a slice of my story that normally wouldn’t make it to the blog roster.
Photo Credit: Sebastian Kobs