For days now, I’ve been searching for a light to chase away the darkness. I’m been waiting for happiness to show-up in my life. I meditate and wait. I journal and wait. I blog and wait.
I do this and wait. I do that and wait.
I wait and I wait and I wait.
And then suddenly it hit me. The truth of it. The absurdity of what I’ve been doing. Finally, I connected the dots.
It’s not about searching for the light. And it’s not about waiting for happiness.
It’s a choice I can choose right now.
A couple weekends ago Wildflower walked right past me at a local attraction. I don’t know if she saw me. I think she did. But maybe not. But when I saw her, I froze. I was too scared to say anything to her. So, I just let her walk right on past. And that really saddened me. It tore me apart. The woman who was one of my best friends for several years. The woman who I love deeper than anyone I’ve ever loved. The woman who said she wanted to marry me. The woman who said she’d love me until the day she died three months after we broke-up, and right before the last time I ever talked to her. That woman – I let her walk right past without saying a word.
That’s what we’ve become. And I hate it.
So, I decided to email her. To see if we could start communicating again. After all, she’d said all along that she knows we’ll always be special to each other. That we’ll always be close. So, I emailed her. So I wouldn’t ever have to silently watch her walk past me again.
And maybe that was the start of all of this – the darkness. The depression. Actually, there’s no maybe about it. It’s definitely part of it and probably most of it.
Really I was waiting to see if Wildflower would respond. Metaphorically holding my breath. If she didn’t respond then I would find a way to be happy about it. If she did respond negatively then I would find a way to be happy about that, eventually. And if she responded positively or somewhere in between, then I’d figure out how to be happy about that.
But that’s all wrong.
I can choose to be happy. Right now. And know I will be happy no matter if and how Wildflower responds to my email.
It’s a choice I can make right now. It’s a choice I can continue to make every minute moving forward.
To help with choosing to be happy, I can ask myself what I like to do.
I like to: listen to music, play guitar, journal, blog, write fiction, watch movies, hang with my kids, hangout with others, go out to eat…. these are just a few of the things that I enjoy. Doing them, will automatically help lift my spirits. As does working out and meditating.
But working out and meditating alone with the express intent of feeling happy, won’t work. I have to meditate in order to meditate. I have to work out in order to work out. No expectations. No contingent results. Just do it for the sake of doing it.
That rule also applies to everything I enjoy doing.
Really, I just need to get out of my own head and live in the moment.
I do notice that when I start to feel happy, I’ll remember a reason why I should feel sad. And then that puts me right back into my sadness. It plunges me back into the darkness.
I do the same thing when I think of Wildflower. There are so many layers to what we had and why we fell apart, that it spins my head. I start to feel angry about everything and then I remember a tender moment and I push the anger down. The opposite happens too. I remember the last thing she said to me and I feel good and then I think of some of the horrible things she said and my heart breaks all over again.
But maybe I don’t have to choose between happiness or sadness. Maybe I don’t have to choose between heartbreak and love. Maybe it’s not about “or”. Maybe it’s actually about “and”. With Wildflower and in life. I can be heartbroken and still believe in love. I can be worried about my child and still be excited about the future. I can be angry and be calm. I can be uncertain and know.
“Or” is the second smallest word in the dictionary in terms of length, but it’s the greatest divider in our language in terms of impact.
You have to be liberal or conservative. You have to be content or dissatisfied. You have to be religious or spiritual. You have to be sad or happy. You have to love or hate.
It’s all about dividing. It’s all about coloring everything and everyone either black or white. It’s all about putting everyone and everything on opposite, opposing sides.
But who says? And why does my mind feel like it needs to divide everything? It has to simplify and organize everything into tidy piles.
I can be liberal and conservative. I can be both content and dissatisfied. I can be religious and spiritual. I can be happy and sad. I can love Wildflower and be angry at her. I can believe she is the greatest person in the world, and be disappointed in her. I can be both.
I can choose both. I can choose “and”.
So, I can be the light and still see darkness. That’s okay.
I can hate and love at the same time. That’s okay too.
I can be bad and still be good.
I can be stupid and still be smart.
I can embrace the “and”. Maybe not forever. But at least for a while. “And” is the word that just might eventually lead to truth.
I know being two opposing things, feeling two opposing emotions, thinking two opposing thoughts, is part of being human. It’s the true experience. And it’s what it takes to truly embrace myself and finally find myself.
I am the “and”.
And I can also be my own light.
I can choose.
I can start right now.
And I will.