Thursday, February 16, 2012

Present Even With This

The moments when the exhaustion and sadness hit seem odd sometimes.

This week they came at the end of two days that were truly good.  One day in which I embraced silence and created space for my soul to breathe, and one in which new things went well, and some old things were resolved.

And yet, at the end of each of those days, I found myself wondering as the feeling that sometimes precedes tears came upon me.  I found myself questioning the sudden appearance of sadness.

It was (and is) tempting in those moments to argue with myself, to shame and scold myself.  To tell myself that the days have been good, the weeks have been good, that all things considered, even life has been good.  To scold myself for feeling sad, and work to talk myself out of it.

Instead, this week I tried to be present, even with the sadness.

To acknowledge it.  To allow it to exist without shame.  To ask some questions of myself, of it.

I'm not so good at this being present with pain.  My preference is to avoid it - the partial topic of a long and lovely conversation I had this week, and most likely of a post in the future.  Mindful of that conversation I have tried to sit in the presence of the sadness and the exhaustion and allow it to be present.

And in sitting, this week, I noticed some things.  I noticed that last week was full of hard things, things where I can say with pride that I handled them well, that I was able to walk through them in a way I wouldn't have been able to a year ago.  I noticed that embracing the quiet space that my soul was craving gave time for my feelings to surface more truly.  I noticed that though some of the ongoing challenges of my living space have been tempered lately, the questions and the pain of the situation, the grief that goes with it, those remain, and when I am quiet they have space for expression.  I noticed that some of what I was feeling was exhausted relief, as bits and pieces of last weeks challenges came full circle to their resolution.

And in pausing to be present with those things, to notice them, I discovered that the urge to cry from sheer exhaustion was passing.  That instead of anger and frustration, I was feeling grace for myself, grace for the things I was experiencing.  The sort of grace I've always been able to offer freely and deeply to others, but have rarely managed to extend inward towards myself.

And so, I choose to be present even with this.  Even when being present doesn't look like joy.  Because I am learning to understand that I am loved, by Jesus, and by friends, and that I need to offer love to myself.  And I am learning that when I am able to be present with myself in the painful moments, I am more able to allow Jesus to be present in them as well.  And that being present with myself, and accepting Jesus' presence brings deep peace, even amidst the pain.  And since my heart cries out for that peace, I will choose to be present with myself, even when it hurts.


christianne said...

Absolutely beautiful, Lisa. Thank you. xo

terri said...

thank you for this. some of the things you write hit me in a very deep place and feel so familiar. i needed to hear this today especially. peace dear.

Lisa said...

mmm... thanks, friends.

much love and peace to each of you.