In order to keep my psychological head above water, I have had to deliberately rely on the decisions I've made, and the healing activities and coping skills I've learned--all the things I have been sharing with you over the last few months. It wasn't easy. I wanted it to be easy, but it wasn't. I just had to do what I knew.
The first thing is that I had to be willing to be willing. As events unfolded in the last couple of weeks that have required me to "deal", I could feel myself wanting to shut down. And, I'll be honest, I don't think I faced my recent challenges with much grace. I was (and am) in pain and struggle, so it's not like I have been Pollyanna.
But I also knew I had some choices, and I knew that if I didn't avail myself of these choices then I was (in my case, can't speak for you) being unwilling. Throwing a tantrum, you might say.
Well, the choices I had weren't spectacular. They don't take away the challenges in their entirety. I just knew I had to keep doing the simple things that I have learned by experience work for me.
I had to breathe. And for me this means I go out to my patio especially early in the morning or in the light of the late afternoon. I meditate with the God-struck sky that surrounds my rural home. I bring my attention to my breathing, I let my thoughts and emotions release. I wanted to be so hurt and angry that I wouldn't even let myself take a beautiful moment like this and recognize the gifts that are still with me (like my sky). But instead I chose to be willing and let myself rest for a few moments. Several times a day.
If you've read my book Thus Far, then you know that one of my foundational decisions is that while I may not know everything to do, I do the next thing. And, boy, I had to really come back to that level these weeks. When I found myself blocked from the way I normally do things and without my normal tools, and thus facing some potential consequences and loss, after I grieved for a while, I still had to ask myself if I was going to quit and sit on my ass or if I was going to figure out what I could do and then go forward. It wasn't pretty, it was really hard. But I figured out what was possible, and then I became willing. I kept my eyes on only the next step, and I kept taking them.
I also had an opportunity to keep with another one of my decisions, and that is to accept the mess as the miracle. Again, this doesn't mean I am bright and cheerful. I hurt. But I am trying to be patient with myself and with life while things process, and I am trying to understand what I can learn or receive from what I am going through. I choose to trust myself to handle the pain, the chaos, the loss.
The final point of what I want to say today is to emphasize again is that healing is not often spectacular. It is quiet, and it is in the basics. I am always going to need the basic tools--breathing, accepting, acting, nourishing myself, and so forth. The path is not ever different than these simple yet powerful things. They are the path. And I'm thankful that I can rely on them even in great difficulty.