For the past week I’ve vacillated from feeling nervous to edgy to agitated with little room for stillness and tranquility. All the ways in which I find solace have not helped relax my internal shakiness, leaving me more tentative than I’ve been in quite some time. It’s as if the rug has literally been pulled out from under me.
I got the proof for my book and it looks different than I thought it would. I forgot some things. My acknowledgment page is too short. I failed to mention some important people in my life. My misses and mistakes are long and I can’t help but chastise myself for my whoopsies and oh-ohs which have spun my romantic view of being an author on its’ head –the throbbing quality of groundlessness forcing me to stand in the middle of my vulnerability.
Pema Chodron wrote a book called When Things Fall Apart. In it she discusses how we don’t really know how things will turn out and when there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that will be the end of the story or just the beginning of a great adventure. Things are always in transition and nothing ever sums itself up in the way we like to dream about. She goes on to explain how important it is to stick with this uncertainty, to relax in the midst of chaos and to compassionately love ourselves with all our flaws and limitations.
I think remembering solace when it is not calm is just as meaningful as when things are all hunky-dory, maybe even more so, and sometimes comfort is as simple as recalling the sky when I can’t see it or the sound of the river in spring or the steam rising from my tea on a winter’s night.
It seems all over the world, everyone is striking out against someone else, so, I’m not going to war with myself and will practice peace instead; sit right in the center of my Achilles’ heel and loosen up. Solace in finding calm where there is no calm.
How did you find solace this week?
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