The only 2 times I feel bad in my life:
1. When I don’t get what I want.
2. When I’d rather be somewhere else or doing something other than what I’m doing at that moment.
The first is addressed rather easily. Grow up. You’re not a toddler. Life doesn’t always work in your favor.
The second is a little more complicated because it comes down to state of mind. Our high-paced culture is constantly in pursuit of a goal, a deadline, a future. We are dreamers and visionaries. We are also sentimental creatures, stuck in the past, tied to memories and traditions.
In that sense, it makes sense why it’s so difficult for us to focus on the present. I think we’ve trained ourselves to believe that if we are mindful of the now, that we stay stagnant. Or that we’re neglecting something important that came before. Or that we’re not going to be adequately prepared for what’s to come.
Like many deep-rooted issues that are being dug up and magnified in this pandemic, we are all now plagued with this nightmare of being stuck somewhere we don’t wanna be, doing something we don’t wanna do. It’s not just frustrating. It can be saddening and hopeless. It can be maddening. It often makes me angry.
But when I convince myself (and yeah, this often takes some heavy work) to appreciate what I have in front of me and take advantage of that window of time, life seems a lot lighter. It just makes more sense. If I can turn off my phone (the digital escape is a perfect illustration of us trying to be somewhere besides here), turn off the anxiety faucet, and stop living in the past… there’s an abundant reality sitting right in front of me*
*This is perhaps hardest for us daydreamers – we often use our imagination as a tool to teleport to another existence (raise your hand if you come from trauma), and I get that too.
So, while we’re stuck inside, separated from the people we love most, let’s consider what we have to explore: the feeling of pen on paper, the smell of an old book, a new way to scramble eggs. If you are living with other people, he or she is a dense forest for you to adventure through. Learn about yourself. You never give yourself the attention you deserve, and I’m sure you have plenty to say.
You can even start a journal and write down what you hear. Just like I’m doing now.
[Image: It’s my friend Britni’s birthday. She watercolored these mushrooms by the fireplace this morning.]