1. Truth: No matter what, there’s always this. That’s what I thought when I saw the love note Eric had left me on the kitchen counter this morning. I don’t remember exactly why or when he started to leave them, just that it was somehow related to a really hard time I was having. It’s telling that I can’t remember which particular hard time that was, because there have been many in recent years. Once he found out I was saving the notes, he started leaving them all the time. It’s probably not entirely clear from the above picture, but this one is actually pretty elaborate — the paper was originally white and he colored in the background with a yellow highlighter.
2. Truth: You can’t breathe in the future or the past. This is an instruction Susan Piver sometimes gives as she’s leading the Open Heart Project in meditation. It reinforces the purpose of placing our attention on our breath, bringing us into the present moment because that is where our breath is happening. If you notice you are breathing, it is the present moment and you are present with it. It’s very practical, but I also love it as a metaphor. If you are caught up in some version of a future that may never actually happen or stuck in a past that is already dead, you can’t breathe. You are suffocating yourself by not being present for your experience as it is happening.
3. Truth: When I starve myself of what I need, I stay a hungry ghost. This is so true, so raw and tender, that I’m not even sure how to explain it to you, kind and gentle reader. I think right now I’m afraid to talk about it, to tell you the truth of it, to look it straight in the eye, or even to sit with it myself. I feel like if I name it, if I give it a form, the carefully constructed keeping it together will come apart at the seams. I’m caught up in old patterns of abandoning myself, denying myself, and in my suffering I seek out clarity and understanding, work to face my experience with compassion, and try not to give up. It’s all I can do.
One wish: We are all trying so hard. By the merit of our effort, may suffering be eased — in ourselves and in the world.