Tuesday, January 30, 2007

just keep going

jan 21 010

I wrote this earlier today, before I had a conversation that shifted my thinking a bit. Still, I want to share these thoughts…and then in another post or two or three, I will share the shift and some other stuff that happened in between last week and this moment right now…


As I mentioned in a post last week, I lost a bracelet that meant a lot to me. Buying that bracelet was, for me, a way to buy myself a little gift that would remind me that I am on my path. A little talisman to say, “you are doing it girl.” And I wore it, literally all the time, for almost a year. I think I took it off once to show it to a friend and once as it didn’t quite go with a dress I wore to a wedding last summer. The bright colors reminded me of how I am inviting color, creativity, and awareness into my life. Wearing it all the time, it became a bit like a wedding ring to myself in bracelet form.

Last week, I wrote a letter directed “to the Universe” about this missing bracelet. I could have addressed this letter to myself, to God, to fate, and on and on. I actually don’t use the word universe when I think of a higher power. I usually use god, especially when I pray. Though I think of god as like the collective energy of all that is and was. I think of god as all that I know and all that I could never understand. In that moment though, universe seemed to be the word that fit. I tend not to specifically talk about religion on my blog, partly because I find that there are two topics that can invite people to quickly make assumptions about another person when discussed. These topics are, of course, politics and religion. My blog isn’t really a place for me to go on about these two topics, though I do bring them up occasionally.

That said, last week, when I wrote the letter to the Universe that I posted here, I was actually crying as I wrote it. Almost a week later, I have taken a breath, of course, and see that it was just a bracelet that I lost. At the same time, I know that I deeply understood that then.

However, last week was one of those dark weeks. A week when I wasn’t doing my practice and was feeling overwhelmed by a lot of stuff in my life. I was feeling a bit misunderstood. I wanted to pour out some of the guts of life that had been stuck in me a bit. I wanted to just feel sorry for myself even knowing it wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I wanted to feel sorry for myself about the last few years because I haven’t really let myself do that as much as I need to because most of the time I don’t see much point in that.

People often say, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle.” I can hear an adult figure, can’t remember who, saying this about a friend from high school when she lost her brother in a car accident when she had already lost her mother to cancer. I remember thinking, “that is shit” but heard it so many times that I started to think maybe it could be true. But, right here, in this moment, hear me when I say, “I think that is shit.” I don’t think it is about how much you can handle. There is no “handling” of it all, there is only breathing. You just get up and breathe. You just go to sleep and breathe. You do what you do. You can only go on. That is your only choice.

This is what I have been doing. As we approach the second anniversary of Traveler’s death, which means we are approaching the second anniversary of my grandmother’s death, which means it has been almost three years since I saw my grandmother alive, which means I will never see her alive again because she is dead, I know my only choice is to just keep on going.

I don’t mean this in a melodramatic way. I mean this as truth. And some of you are nodding as you read this and know what I mean. I don’t mean that I don’t see the beauty of my world. Hell, I find gratitude in my day, every single day, as part of my personal practice now. I see it. I know it is there. But the fact is, my life is different because I have been in the middle of this big fucking wide hole that is grief. I have sat in the middle of it, pitched a tent in it some days, chosen to take a walk around it on other days. This is how it goes. You just keep going, but that doesn’t mean that life isn’t different. You just keep going, but that doesn’t mean you have forgotten. You just keep going, but that doesn’t mean you don’t also see all the good stuff.

Last week, I was having one of those moments when I wanted to simply say, “I need to take a little rest here. This is getting too hard.” But, of course, it isn’t too hard; it is what it is.

You take another breath.

I do get that all I lost was one little piece of materialism. Yes, it is replaceable. I get it.

I am a person trying to, struggling to learn the lessons all the time. Last week, I was feeling dizzy from trying to learn all the lessons. I had spent quite a bit of time upset about how I can’t seem to learn them. How I think I am trying too hard. How I get that the lessons are there for a reason. I was finding my way back to that place where the words feel stuck in my throat because I can’t just be honest about something; instead, I have to try to package it in a way that I think will protect other people because I am so busy thinking about them and not thinking about me that when I try to say it, the words only confuse instead of explain. Last week, I was trying to work my way through it. To move forward. To find my way instead to a place where I can speak about what I really need, feel, and so on. I felt like I was spinning, spinning in circles. Sharing some of this today is an invitation to myself to stop letting the words get stuck…

As several people hoped I woud see, I, of course, see the lesson. I see the irony of losing a superhero bracelet and that, as Andrea told me when I ordered it, I had the superhero power in me before buying the bracelet. I so get it.

But really, I also get this: Sometimes something isn’t a lesson you have to learn in one specific moment in time or just because someone else really wants you to see it. Sometimes you just lose a bracelet that meant a lot to you during a week when you were already feeling really bad. Sometimes you just need to feel bad about losing that bracelet and let go of the need for a lesson in that moment. To let go of the need to please someone else who wants you to see the lesson. Sometimes you need to realize that every single moment of your life isn’t a lesson. Otherwise, someone like me, might become completely paralyzed, unable to move because of all the lessons I am trying to learn in a single moment.

Sometimes you just lose a bracelet that means a lot to you, sometimes people die, sometimes life is confusing, sometimes it gets a little dark until you find the light…and you just keep going and going.

You just keep finding your breath, breathing in and out, and you just keep going.

And you just keep seeing the lessons even when it looks like something isn’t a lesson, even when you have to admit that you know it is one.

You just keep doing the best you can.