Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Life hurts. Life is beautiful.

Day 7 - Channeling my inner hippie chick
Have you noticed that when life is full of all the things we desire, we can still be crippled by sadness? 

And conversely, when life serves up loss or betrayal, we can have moments of overriding joy?

This morning, despite the theatrical tragedy my life is at this moment, I felt so happy. Just so happy.

In the midst of all that is wrong right now, everything felt right.

I know. I don't get it either.

For the longest long time I skirted the surface of life. I stood on its shore, testing the waters long after everyone else had jumped in.

It's not that I couldn't swim, but when I entered the water I become the water, the depth and breadth of it, and I was overwhelmed by it.

Emotion. It was my Waterloo.

As a child I trusted freely, as children do. I never learned to protect my heart. As I grew older, I still trusted like a child, often inappropriately. If you walk blindly through enough doors, you become familiar with the taste of deception.

After a time, I began to brace for disappointment. Trust and the expectation of betrayal. How did they exist together? I don't know, but they did.

I married a man I thought I loved. I trusted him, too. I wanted him to see me, really see me, and for many years I danced like a geisha before a blind man. But he was a man inside a fortress and I could never gain entrance. We were together, but I was still alone.

I had two children and they cracked me wide open, exploding the boundaries of my heart. Suddenly I was the newborn, gasping for air. They taught me that pain and love are but two points that meet on a circle. I was immersed quite suddenly in that deep sea.

Somewhere along the way I became fluent in the language of emotion. I learned to not only swim, but to breathe under water.

And now? I don't want to get out of the water.

I am no longer afraid of life. I am not afraid of being hurt. Or of falling. There can be freedom in falling.

Mother Theresa said this: “I have found the paradox. That if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”

Some days, I get that. I get it exactly.

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