“Life is what happens while you are busy making plans”- John Lennon
Lately I find myself shying away from personal discussions in this space as I am no longer anonymous. Yet this space has always had a personal feel and to pretend otherwise feels disingenuous. Today I am interrupting serious discussions to talk life because sometimes you are driving down the street of life, with your eyes set on your destination when the larger universe decides to take you on a detour and all you can do is ride it out and trust that you will eventually arrive at your destination not too badly bruised.
A few days ago, I had a discussion with a fellow writer and we were lamenting the fact that while we all share details of our lives, few of us willingly share our emotions. I surmised that emotions are risky, they are vulnerable and one of the scariest emotions is vulnerability. Little did I know that I would be eating my own words in a matter of hours.
I consider myself a wordsmith, yet in this moment, words fail me. To be blunt, I am deeply hurt, I feel betrayed, used, worthless and deeply vulnerable. But after weeks of trying to stay positive and focused on the bright side, the reality is that sometimes in life, there is no positive side. Sometimes situations are bad and they aren’t going to get better but ours is a culture that loves to hold out for the bright side and sometimes that bout of overly optimistic thinking comes back to kick us square in our derriere. I am reminded of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America, a great read on the cult of positivity that has become the norm in our culture.
As I found myself fighting these feelings and this uncomfortable situation that I find myself in, I realized that while yoga is often thought of as a cure all for stress and anxiety. Yoga’s greatest and rarely touted gift is that it can teach you to be okay with your feelings. Instead of running from discomfort, embrace it, sit in it and know that by not resisting the discomfort eventually it will go away. Does that mean the situation will resolve itself to your satisfaction, nope, not all, but at least it feels better than actively denying the gravity of a situation and pretending all is well.
In openly sharing this pain and heartache I am choosing to free myself, by giving words to my pain and anger, I am an active participant and while I can’t solve the problem, at least I can use my words to get ahead of the situation. Pain and uncomfortable situations are part of the human experience and few of us can escape that reality. Life is a beautiful thing even when it’s messy and uncomfortable, right now I am struggling to see the beauty but I know eventually I will see it again.
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