But listen to me
For one moment quit being sad
Hear blessings dropping their blossoms all around you.
Every morning when I wake up these days, I find I am in various states of sadness, hopelessness, despair, discontent. And every morning I have a practice of reading, writing and meditating.
This is where I find God. Okay, before you stop reading or think I'm nuts, I honestly don't know what I mean by God. I certainly don't mean the kind of God who's sitting in a big throne somewhere, looking down, but I do mean something, some kind of force that is greater than myself, kind of like "let the force be with you" thing. Because, when I do let go and let God, I find answers. Daily.
As I read and write and meditate, I find that my mood shifts. Not just in small increments, but dramatically. This morning I woke up and thought, I am so sad. In the past four years, I got divorced (hellish -- but now, truthfully, great), my mother died (very sad), I lost my job, I had to move. Two years ago, my beloved dog, Lola, died. Then last November one of my close friends died. I still can't believe it. Then my other beloved dog, Lucy, died this past May. My dogs got me through so much of the grief, and now they are both gone.
Then, in June, my ex-husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. It's all been too much. And on top of everything else, I worry about having enough money for the rest of my life. And that my daughter has bad headaches. And I hate the government and the world is a mess.
And on and on...
Life is challenging and not just for me. But still -- each morning, there is the exact answer to whatever it is that I am troubled about. It's like special delivery. This morning it was finding the Rumi quote and then in the book I am reading now, The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer, the chapter I was up to was titled "Happiness." Seriously. The other day I was dealing with my anxiety about doing something for work that is very challenging and it was all about "leaving your comfort zone."
The first question in chapter on happiness was:
"Do you want to be happy, or do you not want to be happy?"
And the next question was:
"Do you want to be happy from this point forward for the rest of your life, regardless of what happens?"
I know that "for the rest of my life" is probably never going to really happen for me. I'm just not the type. For today, I am feeling extremely happy after contemplating how miserable I was just a few hours ago. Maybe it's the therapeutic coffee I just drank?
It's like the story about the donkey that fell into a well. The farmer tried everything he could think of to get him out of the well, he enlisted his neighbors and they just couldn't do it. So the farmer said, "The hell with it. Let's just throw sand on him and be done with it." So they all grabbed shovels and started tossing sand into the well, and each time they did, the donkey shook the sand off his back and took a step up until they'd put enough sand for him to climb out of the well.
I am the donkey. Pretty much every day. And God throws sand on me every day. Seriously. And every day I get the message I need to get out of my well, or at least I'm a bit like a Jack in the Box -- in and out, but mostly out.
"Staying open is what the great saints and masters taught. They taught God is joy, God is ecstasy, and God is love. If you remain open enough, waves of uplifting energy will fill your heart." -- The Untethered Soul
And if not, put on a song and dance. Or sing. Or breathe. Or watch Louis C.K. Or Stephen Colbert. Or cry. Or have some chocolate. Or pet a dog or a cat. Or write a gratitude list. Or call a friend who is struggling with something really difficult. Or go for a walk. Or take a nap. Or ride a bike. Or do something kind for someone, without them knowing.
Look -- there are blossoms all around. And just enough sand.
For more by Robin Amos Kahn, click here.
For more on emotional wellness, click here.