You have everything you need inside you. You always did and you always will. It just seems (at times) like it’s not enough.
You have a mound of hope, and a mountain of glittering gems of love, and a mountain range of community and friendship and kindness. There are puppies in this world and babies just learning to high five. Warm wool sweaters. Fireplaces that turn on with a remote and all the clean water you want coming out of a tap in your house. How wild is that? Run your hands under the warm water. Close your eyes and really feel it caress your skin. Amazing.
Life is crazy full and maddeningly empty at the same time. Why?
Feel full? Life is full, no matter how bare your cupboard or empty your garage.
Feel empty? Life is empty, no matter your phone of connection or your bank account with plenty. No matter the friends calling your number, the green-eyed lover waiting to share your bed, or the little dog with sad eyes who shares it instead, hiding himself between the sheet and the duvet.
None of that matters beause we create our own problems, our own situations, our own losses apart from the car wrecks and the cancer and the health woes.
Alcohol never quiets the voice of the mind, just hushes it for a while, and then it speaks louder than ever. Better you take the path of the barbell or the running track. If you don’t kill that voice, at least you’ll be fit in your misery.
Also, life is hard. So hard in so many ways that I understand your anger, your ache, your tired spirit and your shoulders that slump. I know. I’ve been there.
A year ago, I sat here, devastated by the death of my mother – and feeling I had less energy than ever in my life. I didn’t know what to do. I was bereft. Little did I know that everything was about to change, that life was about to get really good. But it did.
I fell in love (or “rose in love” as Toni Morrison says) and had an amazing year. And now I sit with the brokenhearted, those sighing fools with relationships in the rearview mirror. Some drink. I lift, at least on the days that my back isn’t too spicy.
Yet I have this irrational optimism, this sun of enthusiasm that breaks through my clouds of melancholy, that gives me respite among the salty rain of tears because there is one thing, one question that I have no answer to:
And I’m so curious that every day I bind my heart with rubber bands and just let it beat there in my chest. I remember that I am alive and each day brings so many surprises, not just in love but also in work and friendship and life. I simply do not know what the next day or the next hour or the next minute will show me.
As my mother said to me in her deep, deep sorrow when my nephew Joe died far too young, “You take this thing, and the next. It is life. And you keep living.”
I remember her words, her immense love, her gigantic kindness, her piercing blue eyes, and her smile. We all have so much, sitting here on our mountains of glittering gems. It’s all we ever needed. Remember that, and be ready when your miracle shows itself.
H/T to this piece for inspiration.
Strong Starts in the Mind
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