Running from the rain
I’m sitting in a brewery listening to a man singing about love, having a beer and feeling a bit sad. I can’t pinpoint what it is, but I just know it’s there. My head gets filled up sometimes and the only way to empty it is to write it all out on a page. I look around the room and see all of these people laughing, enjoying their beers, checking their phones, going about their lives. They’re so normal. I wonder if they can tell. I wonder if they see me. I wonder if the dark cloud shows up for them. I know it’s there. It must be obvious.
There are so many times I feel so grateful to be here. Everything feels like a miracle. I look up at the sky, and it’s clear and bright and I am here; present and alive. I can step outside of things and see how lucky I am. I can feel the sunshine on my skin, and be excited about what’s to come. My life feels whole, like every moment conspired to get me to just this point. All of the messes happened to carry me to this beautiful moment, and I am happy. These days are frequent, because I truly do know I have so much. I know my life is full of joy and actual, real, belly laughter.
Then, with a moment’s notice, the clouds roll in. A stark contrast from the crystal clear sky and warm sunlight of a moment ago.. I feel myself slipping away gradually, the darkness passing over me in tiny little waves, and before I know it, it’s dark as hell. I look up and it’s fucking thunder storming. I’m confused. Where did this come from? How did this happen? I didn’t even notice it. And yet, here I am, sitting in the darkness feeling like I’m watching myself live. I get confused in these moments, because I know all the things to do, right? I’ve read 785 self-help books, learned meditation, taught myself to breathe to keep myself healthy, put crystals in my windowsill (you don’t know it DOESN’T work ok?); basically all the "right" things. In moments like this, these tools taunt me, like a game of tag in second grade all over again. They run around me in circles, sticking their tongues out, yelling that I can’t catch them. They are just out of reach. I hate these tools sometimes. But yet, I go back. I sit on my meditation pillow or on the porch and get quiet. I ask for support. I breathe. I keep doing the things.
I’m starting to see that for 40 years, I’ve fought feeling “bad” for so long. I’ve fought the idea that I wasn’t “ok”. I didn’t want anyone to think I couldn’t handle things, so I sucked it up. I put on a brave face and carried on. I said I was “ok”. I smiled. That’s what everyone wanted right? To be comfortable? I cared so much what everyone thought of me that I faked it. This faking it became a way of being for me; so much so that I don’t truly know how to sit in anything negative and face it. I try to talk myself out of it, find the bright side, move forward (insert whatever cliche phrase you can insert that represents putting your big girl pants on and faking it til you make it). The feeling of sadness wasn’t one I wanted to stay in, because it sucked. Why would I want to stay in any feeling that sucked? So I didn’t. I ran far and fast, under the guise of “positivity”.
The thing is, these feelings have a reason. I see that now. They happen to tell us something. They share a tiny bit of wisdom with us around what we value, what we love and what we want. If we are always forcing them away, how do we even know what we love and want? Why do we run from them? Why do we tell the world we are one thing, when we really aren’t at all? My sister and I were talking about this today, sharing that we just wish everyone would cut the shit and tell the world how they REALLY are doing. Nothing makes me happier than to just be there for someone to listen and hear them when they tell me the real story. Nothing. It make me feel equally seen, and as if I’m a part of something more important, bigger than just myself.
I’m always going to reach into that toolbox and pull something out when the storm comes. I’m always going to get on my meditation pillow and ask for Divine support. I’m going to inhale into my belly and feel the warmth spread, even if it doesn’t take the clouds away. Always. Because why not, right? These tools have taught me so damn much, and shown me who I really am inside. I can’t leave them in the dust. But I’m also learning to be ok with them not working. I’m learning to forgive myself for being unable to get out of the storm. Storms have a purpose, and sometimes you need them. I can stand there and let the rain fall, the winds swirling around me, and I can know deeply that this will pass. The sky will clear again, and I will feel that warm sunshine, see the trees blowing in the breeze. But it doesn’t need to be now. This storm is beautiful as hell, and who am I to tell it to pass?