I was laying in bed next to my husband the other night and this feeling came over me. I felt so grateful and appreciative to have such a supportive being and loving presence in my life. It wasn’t always so and I felt lucky to have it now. As I lay there I reminisced about the beginning times of our relationship. How exciting is was. How full of joy each moment was and how everyday felt beautiful and light and full of possibility. And then I wondered, why is it not always like that now? I’m not talking about the love I feel for him, that hasn’t changed but has in fact grown stronger, I’m talking about the fact that even shitty days, bad days, challenging days felt like they didn’t matter, that anything was possible, that no bad day could get me down after getting a text or phone call, or a smile from ‘my person.’ I do still feel better after seeing or talking to him but the powerful mind trap of thoughts and anxieties that used to seem to fade away do not fade away and are ever present.
It got me thinking about how life sweeps you up and takes you along and how fighting it is really exhausting and makes your head spin out of control. Yet that seems to be the state in which I struggle against and live in daily. Letting life take me along? How lovely and terrifying at the same time. Oh how I want to let go of control. My mind is constantly trying to ‘figure things out.’ Planning for tomorrow, for next week, for 5 years from now. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with plans but there is something inherently struggle worthy about being rigid and not allowing for life to sweep you up and take you with her. Because one thing that’s for sure is that this will happen. We cannot control life, as hard as we might try. That saying, Man plans and God laughs, it’s so so true. The best laid plans can turn to shit without anything going ‘wrong’ or us doing anything ‘wrong’. It just is.
So as I laid there looking at the adorable face of my sleeping husband I wondered why my mind plays these tricks on me. Why does everything feel insurmountable sometimes and why do I feel so on edge and pent up like I’m racing a clock, even on my days off of work? Sometimes it feels like I can never keep up with the world and at times I want to give up. And at times, I do give up. I just give in.
This year proved to be one of the hardest of my life. I am healing from and learning to live in peace with anxiety and depression. I had an extreme adverse reaction to a medication that led me down a deep dark path of hopelessness. For a couple months I didn’t think I’d be able to keep the devil at bay. The thoughts were so dark, calling me into the beloved embrace of source. Of emptiness. I wanted to go. At times I thought I would go. But reality would seep in and I couldn’t see leaving people who loved me. That was my saving grace, Love. Sometimes my husband would just have to lay in bed with me, holding me. Holding me tight while I wept uncontrollably at the thought of being alive and feeling this kind of pain and torment that was going on within my mind. I wept like I’ve never wept before. It was so scary, so bottomless. It enslaved my thoughts and my body would just wrench and wring itself around with every loud overwhelming sob. Sometimes he’d hold me for hours waiting for the darkness to finally subside. Sometimes he’d whisper things like “we’ll get through this” or “you’ve gotten through it before and you can do it again.” And I’d whisper back, “I don’t think I’m strong enough,” “I don’t think I can do this anymore.” But we’d laid there and we cried. Just being there, it wasn’t his words, it wasn’t the comfortable bed we were in, the lovely house we are lucky to live in, the clothes we were wearing, any money in the bank, it was his presence. It was him being there with me in those moments and not being anywhere else. Fully with me. He’d bring me back. He’d bring me back to here and now. And that is what love is. That is what love does.
I remember during one of my many crying episodes we went outside. We brought our dogs out and sat there on that particularly sunny and warmish day in the middle of March. And I sat there sobbing and caught up in my thoughts of wondering why I was even alive and wouldn’t it be easier for everyone and less burdensome if I just wasn’t there; when this lite wind hit my cheeks. I glanced up to see the sunlight dancing in the trees and showing little refractions of rainbow colors in between the just blossoming leaves. I sat there sobbing while thoughts of “how beautiful this is” started creeping into my head. “What a perfect feeling breeze against my face.” “Wow how amazing is that sun just dancing on the tree tops spreading its beauty into the world without wanting or needing anything in return.” The overwhelming beauty of just being outside and seeing the world as it was in that moment and letting the light shine on me helped bring me back, at least for a few seconds. I still couldn’t stop my crying but I did feel hope again in those few moments. I could feel my thoughts shifting from “why is this happening to me,” to “If life can be this beautiful in just a ray of sunlight and a whisper of wind upon my cheeks than what could I ever have to worry about and can I try to not allow this much pain to exist within me. Can I please just let go. Can I lay down my control and surrender.” The beauty of that moment in nature gave me glimpses of the purity of being in the moment and seeing it and feeling it as it was. The beauty of that moment was what love feels like. And I wanted love to conquer.
All these thoughts swirling around as I laid and stared at this sleeping being next to me in bed and I realized why it feels so good when we are first falling in love, or just when we feel love. It’s full and pure and all encompassing and it’s only only only in this moment. It’s right now. You feel it with every cell, every molecule of your being. It radiates in you and around you. You are waking presence in that moment. You cannot be in the past nor in the future to feel this intense loving state, it’s only here and now. It’s so strong and so pure and so intoxicating that nothing feels like it could go wrong or be bad. And this, THIS, is the state that we are aspiring to attain at all moments of waking conscious life. This purity that every moment is magical. That every moment of being alive deserves this kind of attention. This kind of solely being in the here and now. Nowhere else. Not here physically but mentally somewhere else. Just here. Present in every moment. Appreciative for every moment. In and participating in every moment fully. This is what love does. And if I, if we, can find this state of being in every moment no matter whether we are falling for another, we just got a new car or a raise, or we lost a job, lost a relationship or are dealing with anxiety/depression; if we can find and be in this state of love and now-ness at all times then there we would find peace, contentment and the divine. The amazing mysteries of life would be unfolded before us because we were present to see them, feel them and be them.
This is what love does. Love isn’t a feeling, love is being. Purely being. This is what life could be. And I want in. I’m not saying it’s gonna be easy because it’s not. And I’ve been doing this work for over 15 years of trying to better myself and live a more free flowing life and be ok with just being. And I catch glimpses of it here and there and then they go and then they come and then they go again. I’ve been catching more glimpses as I’ve grown older and this is the hope; to continually walk the path of catching more and more glimpses until I can finally live as a being of pure love. Not just theoretically but actually and realize it was within me, it was me, it’s all of us, all along.