Lost and Found

Same image taken only minutes apart. One using a filter, one not. Filters focus on the beauty, while masking the reality. Candids reveal the rawness within the beauty. Maybe there is a time and a place for both the masking and the revealing of our realities.

I thought I was 47 all last year. It seems that my 48th year came and went without me paying much attention. As a mindfulness teacher, helping people understand how to focus their attention is what I do. Apparently I’ve been a better teacher than practitioner lately.

This past year I turned more introspective than most, cocooning myself inward to explore parts of me that have been quieted. In unearthing my anger and fear, I have learned to be comfortable with their unpleasantness, and I now understand their value in my life. Anger alerts me that perhaps my boundaries have been crossed, and also serves the purpose of disguising my fear. Fear comes when I feel threatened. Fear is not so much about the circumstances that have brought it on, but my spiraling thoughts regarding the circumstances themselves.

I have begun to understand a new kind of strength and resilience that comes when I allow myself to feel the uncomfortable feelings. All emotions serve a purpose and each one has an important message to relay.  When I invite the emotion in and notice the noise my thoughts are creating about it,  I am able to quiet these thoughts and create a clear path for the emotions message to reach me. It is in this moment, the emotion lets go and I can see my next best step. My body can sense when I’ve understood the emotions message and I am able to fully relax once again, ready to move forward.  Sometimes this process takes minutes, and many times it lasts days, weeks, and even months. It is a process and a practice, and the benefits resulting from it are at times miraculous.

48 was a hard year for me, as most of it was spent establishing a relationship with my anger and fear. I felt lost in all the ways – my marriage, my career, my mothering skills, my housekeeping skills, my changing body and hormones – all the things! I share this not for sympathy, or for your help in resolving any of it. I open up to invite you to help me hold the complexity of it all. Sometimes I wonder if that’s all we as humans really need – to know we are not alone in our suffering. I want you to behold and witness my current reality! I do not need you to take it away, change it to fit your needs, or shame me for where I’m at – but instead say – “Hey, Sister, I See You, I Feel You and I Got You while you are growing through your hardships.”  And because of this loving compassion from you, I feel deep in my bones my innate capacity to withstand it all.

I’m 49 years old today, and I am so grateful for this privilege that many are not granted. I usher in this year with a New Moon filled with gratitude, hope, new growth, and new beginnings, all wrapped up in loving compassion – for my anger and fear, my joy and sorrow, for my whole self, my loved ones, my community, and really the whole world.

Whaddya say? Wanna grow your compassion? Start with yourself and watch it bloom around you. Connect with me if you need help…I know just where to start…

A flower in bloom is similar to our inner selves, constantly evolving, adapting, and growing.

+ Leave a comment