1. Truth: I find it really, really difficult to go on with my life as usual when someone I love is dying. Today is Eric and I’s 19th wedding anniversary, and even though we have tickets for an Aimee Mann concert tomorrow night, tickets I bought specifically as an anniversary present for us, we both forgot that today was the day to celebrate because we’ve been too distracted by the hard stuff in our lives. And it’s not just the big stuff I’m having trouble engaging, it’s all the small stuff. I had a moment last night when I noticed the thick layer of dust in the living room, on the books, the TV, the end tables, and my first thought after noticing was “I’ll dust when Dexter is gone, because I can’t face it right now, can’t waste time on that. It’s just not important.”
2. Truth: I don’t always know what to do. For a retired perfectionist, a master puzzle solver and super stubborn human, this is incredibly frustrating. I try to stay openhearted and present, quiet and still enough that my innate wisdom can arise, but quite often, the panicked chatter of my monkey mind and the howling of intense emotions get in the way and I am confused.
3. Truth: Practice helps me clear my mind and stay in the present moment. When I write, I can dump all the nonsense and the noise and work my way towards understanding. Yoga and walking help me to move, to feel my body in the world, just as it is, to engage with it fully, to release the tension of resisting the way things are and the wishing for things to be different. When I meditate, my mind softens and settles and I can practice being gentle, allowing my deeper wisdom and compassion to manifest. And the practices of love and dog constantly remind me of impermanence, of the reality that change is real and I have no control, that all I can do is surrender, to open my heart and love knowing full well that my heart will be broken as a result.
One wish: For relief, for our collective suffering, shared and private, to ease. For us to find the strength to stand right where we are, just as we are, keeping our hearts open to the way things really are, knowing that we are a part of something beautiful.