Monday, March 18, 2019

Coexisting with dark places.

Life changing things happen in ordinary moments. There is no dramatic music or stylistic pan in with the camera. No voice over to prepare you, or lighting changes to soothe the moment.

It happens in an instant and we wonder, is this real? Real life doesn’t just happen like this. This happens on big screens, with ebb, flows, story line climaxes, and happy endings.

“Did I just hear that right?”

“This isn’t real.”

It’s those moments you take stock in your courage and know for a fact you aren’t built to take this kind of punch. You know it’s too much. You wonder how you’re still alive, how your heart goes on when ripped in half…

And the future you had so carefully mapped out disintegrates into a mist of unknowns.

Nothing is for sure: Those moments teach us that lesson with little consideration for our sanity.

I’ve lived too many of those moments.

I know too much.

So when a quiet moment comes, when things can swing either way, it’s hard for me to have hope.

Because I know:

Bad things happen amidst all the ordinary.

Life changing moments don’t count how many you’ve had before. They come when they come because as joyous as life can be…it is equally hard.

The two exist: The light and the dark. And where you’ll be tomorrow is a mystery. There are no weather forecasts to help you know what to expect.

So how do I live without hiding under my bed, I wonder? What is it that makes me wake up in the morning smiling, expecting a happy normal instead of a devastating one?

When I’ve experienced so many of those moments, how do I find that feeling of hope that is essential to my existence?

Is it in the acceptance of life’s dramatic change of tide?

Is it a survival technique? A protection by pretending I don’t know…

Is it believing in a God that tells me I wasn’t sent to this Earth to be miserable?

Is it faith in a plan, that although twisted and sometimes shocking, is designed just for my growth?

Maybe all those things, though my gut tells me there's more.

Like, there is a point to all of this.

I don’t want to say it all happens for a reason.

Were my boys diagnosed with a lifetime disease for a reason?

Did Ryan pass away for a reason?

Has moving to Indiana been so hard for a reason?

I can’t say I believe those things.

I do believe I’m supposed to learn from those dark moments...but I don’t believe that translates into bracing myself when I wake up every morning.

I think learning to focus on the light is paramount to my survival.

Anger breeds more anger. Resentment breeds more resentment. Despair breeds more despair.

And happiness breeds more happiness.

And the truth is, when I look for miracles, I find them. Not only in my past, but daily.

Being mindful of the miracles, I think, is what keeps my motor running.

Life is one ordinary moment after another…good ones and bad ones…

The extraordinary doesn’t come from outside forces.

It comes from us and where we put our focus.

Because light and dark don’t exist separately. Somehow they coexist.

It’s up to us to weave through the shadows to find the sometimes thin stream of light coming in from a crack in the window. 

I really believe we can best survive when we embrace the light. Finding the miracles, loving those around us and seeing the good when it’s all tangled with the bad.

I need to work more on accepting those dark places as a neighborhoods bordering the light ones. Maybe even seeing the dark places as maps to the light?

I need to work to find joy in the journey, not the destination. The journey that weaves through good and bad in the ordinary day.

Hope, here I come again.

But also acceptance, and love.

I know we’re all equipped to handle those things. And I know, somewhere deep inside me, that isn’t an accident.

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