January 15, 2020
I am who I am. And right here, right now, this woman is sad… and reflective.
Throughout recovery, I have grown increasingly curious about, attuned to and aware of how I feel, what I feel, why I feel, even when that is unpleasant, uncomfortable or seemingly inexplicable. Honest inward and personal reflection is not easy, but oh is it ever necessary. While I’ve never ran from the present, sought to escape or denied my truths, I realize now that I have sometimes judged myself for emotions that arose and/or worked immediately to alleviate suffering — though of late, I see that transitioning toward greater acceptance. I am more open and gentle with whatever I may feel in a given moment, choosing to notice the sensation and inquire as to its origin, instead of becoming frustrated or trying to dull, deny or distract.
There is wisdom in simply being who I am, unfiltered, unedited and unashamed — because that IS me. And ‘me’ also includes all of the positivity and goodness, wonder and highs, beauty and strength that I cherish. They are one and the same, a full being, the sum of all parts. As I explore my true nature, essence and processing mechanisms with intention and intimacy, I observe time and time again that it encompasses a wide spectrum: insane, incredible, enraging, enlightening, devastating, delightful, momentous, mundane, confusing, crystal clear. There is no need to get away from the negative, shut out undesired emotions, curse this sadness or even wish that difficult thoughts or reactions never return, rather learning to process, live with the ebb and flow, let go, and reopen to the nowness and the ever bigger picture.
We all find our edges at different moments and reach our limits for different reasons, which need not be some massive trauma, catastrophe or horror. Daily, I/you/we experience and feel the good-bad, pain-pleasure, light-dark and everything in between, affected by innumerable factors within and beyond our control or understanding. But how do we react to, work through and reflect upon those cycles? Refusal, repression, avoidance or obsession are not the answer. I am coming to see that I can realize without criticism, aggression, discouragement or judgment. By not jumping to the lens of conflict, problem or even challenge, I remove the stress of having to figure “it” out — and can thus probe further, choosing a path of frank questioning in place of ignorance or resistance.
Only I can decide what, if anything, I seek to change, what serves and what does not, what opens and what closes, what gives me energy and what drains me, what paths feel right or merit a straightforward ’no.' Such a process will never produce the same results, for my interpretations continue to evolve as I do. Through an honest journey that requires courage, we also find additional layers of courage — and therein grow. All is waiting to be revealed or cultivated with clarity, bravery, perspective and time. Life is indeed a constant teacher, whether we actively seek insights or by simply trying to make it through our days. This deeper mindfulness has provided me with greater appreciation of each moment and emotion for exactly what it is — nuanced, fleeting and precious.
So tonight, I acknowledge I am sad. And go forth toward tomorrow — a major day, a hard day, but a new day all the same.