The other day an older gentleman was in one of my classes. He arrived early, so we had some time to chat. I asked him how his morning was going. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but he wasn’t very convincing that he was having a pleasant morning even though his words said it had been. He then asked me about mine. I mentioned I’d gotten my car back from the body shop, having smashed it a week before. I commented that I had enjoyed slowing down and doing some walking around through my neighborhood while my car was in the shop.. His blue eyes beamed, and he told me how great it was that I could find the silver lining. He said maybe he should work on that himself. I told him I have plenty of stories of tough times that turned out to be really wonderful. I mention bed bugs, he thought I’d said I’d been mugged. Hah.
It got me thinking about how we get to that place. The place where we can take a step back see the chaos or discomfort or tragedy around us, and accept it for what it is. We can find joy there, or at least a semblance of happiness. When we can acknowledge that we will make it through whatever the challenge that’s been presented, and enjoy the challenge. Laugh at it, even.
Watching your house burn down, looking the other direction, and finding some sort of silver lining is not what I’m talking about. Non-acknowledgement does not promote growth. Really digging in to the challenges life throws you, and being able to take some pause, taking time that has been offered to peel back some layers is the gift. You may never have an answer to why, but it could point you in a direction that makes your life more rich. You experience growth, that’s the silver lining, however it manifests.
It’s okay to grieve, to be angry, to be frustrated, to feel. It’s okay to be a hot fucking mess, to be devastated, to be lost. Sometimes walking helps, sometimes sitting in silence. Drinking excessively does not. Chewing does. Slower movement and stillness. Slowing down and focusing on nothing else but the breath can help. Bringing ourselves into awareness is the only thing I know to do during challenging times. You can get there a number of ways. Some make it easier and more enjoyable. Letting go is key. Embrace the fact your world is fucked.
Acknowledge it. Breathe into the discomfort. Discomfort and agitation are places where changes are made. Let it go. Trust the process. Take care of yourself.