Your heart expands. Every time. Feel every possible thing while you’re in it. You don’t have to share it or talk about it or ask about it. But you need to feel it. Quietly. Deeply. Fully.
– Victoria Erickson
After over a year of dealing with a mystery illness, and the recovery from the illness, and the repercussions of missing much work due to said illness, my health is finally mostly back to normal. And for the first time since I’ve been back at work full time, I have evenings and weekends mostly off.
These time periods of having a reasonable work schedule and good health at the same time have been fairly rare in the past two decades. While it is a state of being I constantly seek, achieving it is not all rainbows and sunshine. At first, euphoria settles in and movie watching or game playing or reading fill my time. Then suddenly, like tonight, I will find myself inexplicable overwhelmed by sorrow.
Like a swimmer no longer struggling to keep from drowning, I become aware of how much the salty seas sting. The temptation to choose happiness (as touted by talk shows, books, magazine and blog articles) is compelling, as are the many distractions of technology and entertainment. Yet there is something about sitting with the sadness, with the disquieting sensation of the imminent crying that is sure to happen if I don’t actively work to avert it.
Over the years I’ve learned that this melancholy that settles in after a big push through an ocean of obstacles isn’t another obstacle to swim around. Rather, it is an island that, if I’m willing to trust it and sit in stillness for a moment, provides a new perspective to the flowing by of days.
It has taken me over a decade from my nervous breakdown to trust my sadness again, to see it as a friend rather than a dangerous demon. A place of reprieve and perspective; a place to sit and to be — quietly, deeply, fully.