Life’s terms don’t come in documents drawn up by tricky lawyers intent on having us sign our happiness away, or all our sorrows for that matter. Life’s terms come in the mess of shadow and light. This photo I took last year represents so well the particular pattern of shadow and light I’m navigating – my creativity bursting, in love with all the possibilities, in love with the sweetest man, in love with who I’ve discovered I am and the gorgeousness of this world, all of that along side anguish and concern for the awful struggle I’m witnessing in someone I love, deep sadness for the suffering all around us, and the anger that comes with feeling helpless all too often.
I’ve learned over the years that accepting life on life’s terms isn’t about resignation to misery and that there’s no secret formula for vanquishing all the shadows. I tried resignation to misery, it’s like hiding in misery to avoid misery – not a solid plan. I tried affirmations and positive thinking, avoiding all things “negative” – hiding in “happy thoughts” while the tornado blows just gets me a whole load of misery I could have avoided.
These days, I do my best to hold space for all of it. Not by trying to balance it, some moments (or days, or weeks ….) have more crying time, others have more time for laughing out loud or sighing for the sweetness of it all. When moments change hue over the course of a day, I can get a little disoriented from it all, but my life has more people in it that I can reach out to than I’ve had in a very long time.
I’m ok. Things will turn out ok – maybe not what I want, even painful, or maybe something so good I didn’t even know was possible. However it all goes, I’ll breath in and breath out and continue to do my best to hold space for all of it.