Sunday, July 1, 2012

Embody life. Embody love.

Those two sentences, along with, "Give my wish to god," are what I wrote on my whiteboard sometime around this past January or February.

I have long held the theory that whatever you want in your life, you must practice at. (Not that I've always been able to do this, but it has been a belief I've held for a very long time.) If you want to find love, you must love. And not just the people whom you suppose you'd like to love. Not just the men you might want to marry. Not just the women you'd like to date. But you do your best to love yourself. Your annoying boss. Your inconsiderate neighbor. You just try to pour out love, and love will be returned to you.

If you want to find peace, you must practice peace. Not by moving to a house away from the city. Not by standing outside a building chanting protests. Not by going to a meditation retreat once a month. Instead, you do your best to feel peace at the world, peace toward yourself, even when there are sirens wailing, even when the wars being waged break your heart and hurt your mind, even when there are horns honking at you, angry voices calling you names. It's hard. But you do your best.

It's what I believe. It's what I work at. I fail a lot. But it guides me. (I also like to tell myself to have high standards and rock bottom expectations. It keeps me moving in a direction I like, while taking off some of the pressure. I mean, jeez!)

As I wrote in my last post, I spent so much time clutching at what I wanted, losing sight of what I believed in, struggling with grief and loss and misguided ideas about detachment, that I had to finally throw up some words on a whiteboard to tell me what to do. I had to put it outside myself. I had to assert to the universe what I believed, and give my wish to god, because I sure as hell couldn't handle the burden of my own wants, needs, desires any longer. They were crushing me. Hurting my family. Blackening my heart.

I had to remember to live. To love. To say to myself, look at how goddamn lucky I am. If I never get another good thing to come my way in this life, I will be content with that, because look at how mothereffing blessed I already am. Who am I to think I deserve the certain image I think of when I think of "my life"? Where does peace and love and a good life reside? Within me, dammit, within me.

I appreciated my son more, rather than just mourning over the time slipping by. I decided to have fun with him, rather than just grow sorrowful that he might be my only baby, and his babyhood was very much in the past. I decided to direct love toward myself, and acknowledge that I had not been kind to myself, kicking myself over regrets and lost time and misguided efforts. I decided to be lively again with my husband, tired of cocooning myself in a protective shell that prevented me from having to cry and feel vulnerable and scared of possibility and hope.

And I did these things. Not every day, but a lot. To the best of my ability. I didn't just think them. I emerged from my shadowy hiding place and I started loving. I started living. I found help. I talked to people. I took care of myself. I began daily gratitudes. I surrendered.

Today, as I write this post, I am almost five months pregnant.

Lately, I am so grateful, so joyful, so peace-filled. Would I be feeling these things were I not already pregnant again? I don't truly know, but I'd like to say that the answer would be yes. Because I started living my beliefs, and embodying life, embodying love, regardless of the external circumstances in my life.

I know how lucky I am. I know how little control I have over my life's shifting circumstances. But I have the ability to turn toward love, life and peace, no matter what. I know that when I need help, help is there for me if I ask for it. I know that when I take care of myself, my body and my mind heal. I know now for a fact that what I appreciate, appreciates.

I think I've learned that what your heart desires isn't any given thing, even though your brain will tell you that's the case. A husband. A baby. A bestselling book. A great medical career. A million dollars. Whatever. I think what I've learned is that what your brain tells you your heart desires is the tangible object that you've fixed on as the path to the experience of love, life and peace. And, that that thing--that desire--isn't what you need to experience any of those things, even though they might be very nice to have.

Not that any of this is easy. Or necessarily obvious. But I think it's true.

Embody life. Embody love. Give your heart's desire to god or the universe. Feel peace.

Love and peace to you all,