Don´t we all love a sunny day?
I know I do. A natural born optimist, such as myself, doesn´t like to admit life isn´t always a bed of roses. I use denial – saying it´s not raining when it really is – and mental projection – this is how I want it to be, therefore it is that way – whenever required.
Joana Saahirah Abracadabra Magic Wand is always on the move, making things happen; turning monsters into angels and potential into materialization; making me believe in things that aren´t actually happening, except in my head.
This wand is, as you can imagine, a powerful co-creation tool. It´s also a shortcut to the mental asylum or, if mildly put, to a life which only exists inside my head.
When hard times hit, my tendency is to to call them opportunities for change, wake-up calls, blessings in disguise, the whole optimist/turning rocks into diamonds´arsenal.
Even when they´re not.
I call dancing tools to the bumps in the road, denying the fact that some bumps are not tools for dance. Or for anything else, except maturity, if we´re able to use them for that purpose. They´re bumps. They can hurt, break, wound us beyond any healing possibility.
Some never recover from those bumps but that, too, is a part of our shared humanity.
I´ve known chronically wounded people. They have a certain way about them; they move slower than the rest of us; there´s a density – disturbing and endearing -in the way they stare at emptiness; their eyes yell “watch out: I´m made of glass”. I can tell when I´m in the presence of what I call the “wounded birds”. Somewhere, along the way, there was a bump that broke them so deeply and so bad they couldn´t get back on their feet again. I don´t like to admit it but that doesn´t change a thing. Life, in its incredible beauty and ugliness, moves on with or without my acceptance.
-If you gotta fall, you fall gracefully. – I repeat to myself, ignoring the fact that some falls aren´t graceful and aren´t meant to be graceful. They´re meant to be what they are: falls. As unpleasant, sad, ugly, disturbing and heart wrecking as any fall can be.
Despite my sunny nature, I´ve come to terms with reality: not every day can be happy; not every moment can be inspiring, blissful and beautiful; not everybody is how mature, pure and honest as you wish they were. By God, YOU aren´t always as mature, pure and honest as you´d wish yourself to be. Can we turn rotten apples into fresh ones?
Some times, no matter what we do, the world answers with open arms and a smiling face. Other times, no matter how great we are, and do, the world spits on us, refusing to smile. And there´s nothing we can do about it except recognizing , opening and licking our wounds.
I´m hearing it from several students and friends, these days: I´m going through an internal Winter. Everything seems too hard, dark and dull. I cannot pull myself up as I used to. How long is this going to last?
I hear you. I really do. For once, I´m not trying to escape winter and I suggest you do the same. Give it a try. No denial, no painting darkness with shining colors, no trying to light up a candle in the dark. Nope. Going straight where it hurts: those parts of ourselves, and life, we wish didn´t exist. The road, at such times, has two possible directions: down & in(side). Upwards will eventually come but not now. Not while it´s Winter. It will come when it comes.
Can we, for once, not jump forward and take a walk on the wild side (borrowing it from Lou Reed´s song)? Can we be present, fully present and non resistant to pain/sadness, instead of trying to find shortcuts that lead us, faster but way shallower, to the other side, the sunny one?
After every Winter comes Spring.
After every Death comes Rebirth.
On the other side of darkness is
I hope we´re clear on that. I hope we also remind ourselves life cannot be edited: if you´re alive, you take the pleasant and the unpleasant. We cannot take just one of them as they are two poles of the same reality.
Instead of denying or fighting what cannot be fought or picking a battle we will surely lose (nobody´s stronger than life), I say: embrace it, go through the sadness, the pain, the frustration, the deception, whatever you may be going through.
Surrender to what cannot be changed. Live it. Taste it without judgement. Trees don´t blame Nature for stripping them to their bones; animals don´t complain because cold weather prevents them from enjoying the sun; rivers cry with the rain, patiently waiting for the Summer drought. And droughts can be fatal but let´s not go there.
Don´t resist or try* to convince yourself it´s a matter of perspective. When Winter comes, and it always does, the best thing we can do is to open our arms and say YES.
Yes to the tears,
Yes to despair,
Yes to frustration,
Yes to not knowing, understanding, digesting,
Yes to darkness,
Yes to Winter.
This too shall pass. Everything does. Can we appreciate it as a bad tasting medicine and swallow it with the curiosity of the child who dares entering the dark room, only to find Wonder*land hiding in it?
From the night where I´m standing, at the moment, I believe we can.
Sending all my love, patience and strength to every student, friend, follower, stranger who´s going through winter with the courage of a naked tree.
We´ll see each other when Spring starts to bloom.