One thing I know for sure is that in the moments of life that I feel the most peace, joy, love, and inspiration, there is a strange pattern that occurs right before, a cycle I know and feel, the art of birth and destruction. I doubt I have ever found myself or God or truth in the world when everything is going my way. In fact, I know so.
It is always in the dark, on my knees or in the car, driving with tears soaking my shirt collar and pillow, in marriage I would turn and even sob into the pillow, to not awaken him, with the girls it is always in the shower, or late sleepless nights.
It is true that how deeply you feel joy is equivalent to how deeply you feel pain, a remarkable thought.
Throughout my journey, I remember so many people commenting on how joyful and happy I always am, with a smile on my face, a joke always coming after the last, and sometimes I would smile and think,
“Of course, I’m happy, and why shouldn’t I be? Life is a gift.”
and, there were these thoughts as well,
“I smile because if I don’t, I might die, or even worse, you may not think I’m a happy person.”
“I smile because this moment is escaping the lie I bear at home, so thank God, and keep reminding me.”
And in my greatest dark moments, I have not been able to wear the smile, the whole world has fallen on top of me, my smile is not even given a thought, the weight of lies have broken me, and my only prayer is to survive.
Survival is the way to live in a crisis, not a life.
And in these places, I have had many people appear frightened, scared, confused, and concerned.
In the places of these times, I have not been able to smile at all, and the comments “Are you okay?” have been met with the following:
“No. Do I look okay? Please please stop reminding me.”
“Great. Now I just brought someone else down. Why can’t I just smile, for God’s sakes?”
“How funny. This person has no idea this moment is the most real and beautiful breaking I have ever witnessed. I don’t pretend, and I don’t perform, but I grieve, but for the right reasons.”
“Do I make you afraid of your own pain because you are very concerned I not show my own?”
In both places, the good and bad, I have learned not to judge or shame or blame myself, or at least that has been the battle, the truth of self acceptance is a life working lesson. In my laughter, and my tears, in my positivity and negativity, the truth remains.
If life were without the battle or the triumphs, I would be robbed of its experience.
I would regret nothing or everything, have no idea how to give or how to receive, would see only the good in my children or the bad, both have painful consequences when out of balance.
Sunsets and sunrises both have their glory, so why can’t I?
So, today, I cry and smile, and give thanks.
In all things, give thanks.