I was driving home last night recounting my day, my to-do list, and my life in general. There’s so much happening around me right now. I was thinking to myself, “I should be more stressed out, these are deeply difficult issues.”
Yes, that’s me the over thinker, thinking I should be feeling something even though I’m not. Then it hit me rather boldly amidst everything that for the first time I truly had no idea, no plan, no preconceived notions about what my future should look like. Then I asked myself, “What do I want for my future?”
I drove along the dark roads searching my brain and my heart for the answer while avoiding deer and raccoon. (Multitasking at it’s best.) What do I want? In that moment of searching I realized there’s been an unraveling of sorts happening within me.
What do I want? The first thing that comes to mind is my partner, my best friend, my spouse, my person to build and share my life with. But in the calm of that moment I realized I had no idea what that would look like. I’ve stopped trying to construct deadlines, potential family photographs, and future holidays moments. All of that involves imagination and with my imagination being such a strong part of my nature it’s shocking that I’ve stopped envisioning those things.
Why? Maybe because those visions were too vivid and when reality returns it causes me deep pain. Maybe it’s because I’ve learned it doesn’t matter how I think things should work, they will work out in ways beyond my imagination so why waste my energy conjuring up a fake reality. (Unless I’m writing books with fictional characters.) The truth is I belong in the present moment. I belong in the now. My energy belongs to today.
I’ve experienced first hand how fleeting life is. I’ve experienced death and all its after effects. There are moments and experiences I could never put into words. Moments of great sorrow, moments of deep blessings, and moments of irrational peace. I have felt the space between what is seen and what is unseen. There are indescribable emotions, knowledge, and an unexpected wisdom in that place.
My journey has been unconventional, but the more people I meet the more I come to understand all of our lives are a bit unexpected and unconventional in one way or another.
In musing over my life and the insane amount of peace I was experiencing. The amount of suffering in and around my life should have caused the tears to roll, but instead I was questioning my lack of “feelings.” (#OverThinkerProblems)
I’ve been on an intense journey of faith for several years now. A journey that started with the loss of my husband and a loss of every plan I’d made with him over our thirteen years together. Past the sorrows of loss, I deeply remember the feelings of unworthiness. I truly believed that I was being punished for something. Punishment was the only concept that would reconcile the pain I was experiencing. I had to have done something deeply wrong to bring this sort of aggressive reprimand on my life and not only mine but to my husband and those who loved him as well.
That faulty thinking screams fake news. I could psychoanalyze my “bad” thinking with you for hours, but there’s one theme in particular I want to look at here.
Being a woman of faith, I’ve come to learn getting closer to God, finding my true path, and pursuing His will for my life does not mean that the pain and sufferings of life will disappear. Pain and suffering is real. It is a part of life and if you’re looking for religion to make your life shiny and perfect well you’ll be sorely disappointed this side of heaven.
If you believe Jesus is the Son of God, there’s a connection to woven here. He did all the right things and treated people with a radical deep love and was crucified for it. He suffered for no true reason, at least to the rational thinking mind. He was ridiculed, misunderstood, alienated, disregarded, physically assaulted, and he was innocent. Just like Jesus, we are going to face crap that we didn’t ask for. We are going to deal with pains and sufferings no matter how often we do the right thing. (This sounds super positive, right? LOL!)
Suffering is a part of life. You don’t have to have a spiritual affiliation to recognize that. Yes, sometimes we do things and make poor choices that bring consequences on us. But if you’re doing the right thing and suffering shows up at your door step, it’s not necessarily a punishment rather a by product of the world we live in.
Where’s the sunshine here? Because this post has gotten seriously dark pretty quick, right?
What happens (or at least has happened in my life) is the closer I get to God the more peace I experience in the sufferings. I can be sad, angry, hurt, and yet somehow there’s this overlying sense of peace and comfort. My emotions are still the wild beasts they’ve always been but how I manage and approach them has certainly changed. Each time I find myself tangled up I pray. Inevitably within a day or so, sometimes within the hour the distress settles and I’m able to see beyond the feelings and believe beyond the rationale of my brain.
Faith is a beautiful gift. You don’t need much of it to be able to move mountains.
The good news here, I’m not in the midst of a nervous breakdown (at least I’m 99% certain I’m not. LOL!) I woke up today with a sense of peace and joy beyond the difficulties. The facts and circumstances remain the same (and in some cases are getting worse) but I have a hope that continues to grow.
I know, how can this make any sense?! For me, it is a prime example of the peace that surpasses understanding. Maybe you have a different assessment. Yes, I know I’m a different kind of bird—God made me that way. Sorry, not sorry. 😉
I have no idea where this road is leading, what pit stops will be made along the way, if that empty spot in my bed will stay that way, if I’ll ever have the love, marriage, and family I desire. I have no idea how my future will take shape, but somehow that doesn’t bother me. Because it’s about loving who we are today, where we are today. It doesn’t mean we have to like it but real love is a choice. True unconditional love is intentional and each day I get up the end goal is to be an instrument of peace and true unconditional love. All the details of life will fall into place. When and how they should.
If you take anything away from my ramblings today, hopefully it’s love today no matter how easy or difficult it is. Today is always a gift. Find a way to see it that way and just maybe you’ll end up in this crazy weird place of peace, too.
Love, Hugs, Sunshine, and Happy Easter!