It's been a minute. I’ve been MIA...slaying dragons and battling demons. My war isn't over but there is a bit of a respite now and I wanted to share what I am learning.
"Letters from the Battlefield!"
Life is hard! There you have it. TaDa! Groundbreaking isn’t it? I know; I am just as stupefied as you probably are right now. Who ever thought that life would be easy? But seriously we all know that life can be hard; it’s just I feel like no one ever talks about how to stand in the middle of the “HARDNESS”.
There are all these strategies about how to move forward when things are hard; but how do I move forward if I can’t move at all?
What about the times when the pain is so intense that you simply cannot move…Then what? Why are we not teaching and supporting ways to stand still, to lean into the pain? To not pull away, run away, move past it…BUT LEAN INTO IT! It’s often by resisting something that suffering shows up. It’s like swimming up stream, against the current. It’s exhausting and you won’t get very far, but if you allow the current to take you a little ways then maybe you come across a shallow pool where you can get your footing.
There’s one thing that yoga keeps teaching me over and over: daily in fact. When I listen to my body and feel resistance; instead of immediately thinking “I can’t do this”…if I take a moment to stay, to breathe; often what happens is that things soften. Just a little; enough to keep breathing anyways. This practice has helped me with so many poses (or asanas) and as time goes on, it gets a little easier. Don’t get me wrong holding a Warrior pose during yoga class is one thing. Holding a Warrior pose when you’re slaying dragons and demons is a whole other battlefield.
About a month ago; during the battle I’ve been fighting; I decided to try this same practice with my mind and my heart. The truth is there is no way that I will win this battle that I’m fighting. Not this one; this one is out of my control, no matter how hard I fight the outcome is going to be the same…there are no victors this time. Only loss and pain. There is no way to avoid it, to move past it or to conquer it. The only thing I can do is accept that the outcome is inevitable. The loss and pain are here to stay. I’ll have to learn to live with them.
Staying in the feelings, not resisting them is super dark and sticky. I don’t like it! It’s like being swallowed up in quicksand. The more I move, the more I sink. This makes me angry! I feel the ANGER…all of it and then I feel the sadness.
These two are like the old power couple that show up at those corporate cocktail parties. They are exceedingly overwhelming when they are together but if I can sit them down one at a time, they don’t take over the room.
An old dear friend told me that “there’s a reason for that sadness; because on the other side of it is happiness and memories and such!” That statement makes me remember …and smile…and continue to breath! It’s not easy, sometimes they are shallow breaths, sometimes those breaths are in between sobs. But I remember to breath and THAT is the most important part to this battle. It’s the only way I can keep standing.
I don’t know how long this battle will go on for and I don’t know how things will look when it’s over, but if I stay here, if I feel all the feelings and sit down with all the “power couples” one at a time then I know I can keep breathing; and keep fighting.
“Hello Despair, take a seat I’ll be with you when I can. I’m just chatting with Anger right now and he’s got a lot to say.”
One at a time; sitting them down; conversations with all of them! I’m getting to know them all because on the other side of all those feelings are the counterparts which remind me to smile…and breathe…and Stay!
Learning to Lean In Sucks… that’s the truth and I’m sorry for that. But what’s on the other side of those feelings will remind you and then hopefully you’ll smile…breathe and stay also!
See you on the battlefield!