Have you ever had one of those days/months/years when everything seems to be going wrong? When you feel like you are treading water, barely able to take a breath? And just when you gather enough strength to propel yourself out of the water, a big tidal wave comes crashing down on you, pushing you so far back under again? Yes? Me too! Today was one of those days for me. These last two weeks have been blow after blow of bad news and my nervous system felt like it was going to explode. Wait, I actually did explode a few times (sorry kids) and water poured from my eyes more than I'd like to admit.
When all seems hopeless
My beautiful friend Joy (yes, that is literally her name) reminded me of my capacity to sift through the hard things in life to find the goodness, the joy. I think sometimes when we are in the midst of trouble it is easy to only see the darkness that is seeping in and the feelings of hopelessness, sadness and despair. It is hard to look for the "positives". And if you asked me before I talked with Joy, I would have wanted to slap you silly for telling me to be positive in a situation that is clearly NOT positive in any way shape or form.
Watch the sand settle
Have you ever been to a beach before? Looking into the water you might see the crystal clear water, the sand sparkling underneath and you can see the two distinctly separate from each other. Now did you notice what happens as you took that first step into the water? With each step the sand mixes with the water and it looks dirty. It's hard to see clearly where you are stepping and what is going on under the water.
If you start still for a while and let the sand settle to the bottom of the ocean floor, you might see things you didn't notice. You might notice a shell or a bright coloured fish or a beautiful rock.
Let your thoughts settle
I took some time today to let my thoughts settle like the sand at the beach, and notice what was there under all the dirt. I am not talking about this buzz word "toxic positivity" where we are only looking for the good things in life. I encourage you to sit with your dark side, to unearth your hidden parts and bring them to the light to be seen and healed. I also encourage you to notice the shells and crystals and bright fish, the beautiful, good things in our lives. They can and do exist together. That is what life is! The darkness and the light. The things that taste sweet and the disgusting ones that you want to spit out as soon as it touches your tongue. Today I saw something good in my life. (my big puppy, if you must know lol) I took some time to really appreciate him and that moment. On our walk the sun was shining, the snow was fresh and he was happy. I was happy. I felt held and safe and where I was supposed to be. I savoured that moment for about a minute, but that was all it took to snap me back to a different reality, my present moment. This was real. Right at that moment nothing else mattered. Me, my dog, the sun, white snow and the silence I can only hear in nature. I said a little prayer and gave thanks, even though things are hard. Even though it feels like the water is rising over my head, I can still see the good with the awful. I can still come back to this present moment.