Sunday, February 21, 2010

Step lightly, and keep breathing

Yesterday was such an interesting day. It began on a high note, and accelerated from there as I spent the day with my husband on a belated Valentine's Day trip to Seattle, visiting galleries and other fun places, drinking in the light and color of a sunny day spent with art and glass.

And then suddenly, still in the throes of joy, we were on the ferry heading home and I turned a dark corner and had to face some demons that had been lurking there. Some past concerns were not resolved, and though I had been resolutely not looking back, the "objects in the mirror were closer than they appeared" and had a way of piling up, to cast some bleaker shadows over the day.

Fortunately things were resolved by bedtime, the battles fought and won, but it was not without some casualties, and I found myself doubly grateful for Cynthia's words in Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening this morning:

"Something in us is objectively strengthened by this patient willingness to let go of our own stuff, to do the practice in the face of almost unbearable psychological frustration." She's speaking, of course, about the practice of centering prayer, but the truth is that the lessons we learn in those meditation periods about letting go are lessons we also get to practice in our daily lives.

Having found such joy, I wanted to hang on, and resented the intrusion of the dark -- I had to let that go. Having found the dark, I wanted to stay clear, and resented the speed with which it overtook me, and I had to let that resentment go as well. And having -- I thought -- created an opportunity for escape from all the struggles -- if only for a bit -- I had to let that go, too; a bitter loss, but fair.

None of this was serious, or tragic: as my daughter said in a note this morning, "As it says in Ecclesiastes, 'Anyone who is among the living has hope— even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!' ... as long as we're still around, things can get better, as long as we try and believe they will. Bad things happen, but they always do."

But still -- it leaves an aftertaste, a ringing in the ears, a scent of danger in the air, a worry that by opening up to joy I might be creating a space for the darker emotions as well; like stepping onto a roller coaster: both thrills and fear ahead!

Step lightly, and keep breathing; release the worry and stay present. It's all good.


M.L. Gallagher said...

Diane == Thank you!

I spent this weekend coaching at Choices. An affirming and positive experience. And then, darkness descended when I got home and I found myself mired in despair wondering -- is it worth it? Is this relationship worth fighting for? Is there a purpose to this?

your words give me solace and hope. The darkness is still clinging, but I at least can accept to be in the light, I must be the light I desire.

Thank you.

Joyce Wycoff said...

Beautiful, Diane ... and what a wonderful reminder to step lightly through the joys and dangers around us remembering that "This, too, shall pass." I'm going to hold onto this today. joyce

Katherine W. said...

Not immediately remembering it was me who wrote that sentence, I got the impression that it was a fellow Christian who you were in some interesting theological discussion with =P Lol.

I love you mom. Glad you're feeling better.