“Tell me, what is it you plan do do
with your one wild and precious life?” (Mary Oliver)
As life shifts and experiences are lived, I return to this question. Trusting and wondering at the same time. From a micro and macro view of this life, of this world, there are many reasons to hold opposites—joy/sorrow, hopeful/discouraged, engaged/despondent, ease/constricted, serious/silly—it’s all there.
We often feel we must be one thing—happy, sad, angry, etc. and we don’t leave ourselves space to be human, which is so much more that one emotional state. We put ourselves in boxes. I spent much of my youth existing as “happy.” I was always great and fine, always up, always cheerful. I had created a prison of emotion and my behavior conditioned those around me to respond and expect accordingly. I set myself up for failure, to feel less-than, and exhausted.
It wasn’t until I started exploring yoga, mediation and coaching, that I began doing the real work, the internal work. This meant discomfort, acknowledging and experiencing unpleasant feelings, and recognizing the value in all emotions, rather than hide away the depression, sadness, and feelings of rejection. After many years, I am far from perfect, but a funny thing happened—by being with the unpleasant, the difficult, I created space to truly be in a good place more often, even when sad or angry or frightened.
We do our work so we are able to hold life lightly and with reverence. We don’t have to feel any particular one thing at a time. Give yourself kindness and acceptance to be with the light and the dark—they are both, and neither, you.
You are so much more.
Where do you need to create more space within?