“Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle” ― J.M. Barrie
There is sadness in the world every moment of every day. It doesn't take much looking around to see it. Fortunately, there is also great joy, gratitude and love to fill the rest of the space. Sometimes, despite how immense it is, it's harder to find.
It's easy to become caught up in one's own trials and tribulations, the pain caused to us, justly or unjustly. It's also all too easy to shove it aside, write it off or place blame. It's hardest to recognize the pain, the suffering, the hurt and own it. To sit with it and allow it's experience as fully as we allow joy. Even harder still, is the shift of focus, to allow one's being to be comforted by the existence of discomfort.
This may seem vague and verbose, but I have a point. One I felt compelled enough to return to the blog, to write about something other than the occasional run, trip or bike race. I initially returned here to be reminded of the last time I felt this particular pain. I documented a few days of the roller coaster here (and many others in a personal journal). I'd forgotten about both but remembered this sensation. I remembered the permission we allowed ourselves to feel things, think things and say things that we didn't like and didn't always want to own up to, but needed to. I remembered how hard each day was, but how comforted I was that I had another day to do this hard stuff. I provided care and love that I never knew I was capable of, but it felt like second nature to me, yet all the while fumbling to find the right way.
I am here again, and yet I am not. Uncertain and yet certain of what we all know to be true. Life is fragile and fleeting. Struggle is part of this process. The blessing of death is that what was once imperfect is made perfect and complete again. The curse is the future ceases and everything becomes a memory. My mind is too quick to fail and memories feel too fragile and opaque.
I find I'm on this familiar roller coaster. The joys and highs and swooping lows. I am preparing myself for the end but trying to remain present, grateful and hopeful. I'm not alone in this battle. I'm not alone in this world. I'm not alone in this hurt. If I put my troubles aside, without turning my head, I can see great battles being fought, and some lost all around me. Each one worthy of it's own time, energy, respect and full experience.
Not knowing where the end of this battle will lie or where the next begins, I'll try to focus on one step, one moment, one breath at a time. And respect the connection we share in our troubles, the strength we gather from one another and opportunities for joy and love that each struggle may bring.
"Do not pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one." ~Bruce Lee