On a chilly, very early spring day, I sat at a picnic table in a park, across from one of my closest and dearest friends, telling her about a messy reuniting with the man I, at the time, believed to be the person I was going to share the long haul with. I remember getting very logical and saying, but it doesn’t happen this way, it’s supposed to just gel you know, easy breezy; this is a mess, a complicated disaster. How can I possibly move forward like this?
Kim, she said, LIFE IS MESSY. It’s just the way it is. What she wanted me to understand is that you can’t just throw everything away because it gets a little messy. It’s never going to be perfect, you’re gonna have to get your hands dirty and sort through it. (In my case, if you’re wondering, the long haul, was a very short one, and I’m very grateful to have closed that door, but, despite how taxing it was, I’m even more grateful for what I got out of it.)
And she was right, it really is messy, many of my life experiences can attest to that. Actually the last 18 months of my life are a living testimony of this. She, my beloved best bud, could also attest to this, even the good stuff doesn’t always go smoothly. Sometimes you have a disastrous move, only to end living in a safe haven. Sometimes you get to off to bumpy start and end falling in beautiful love. Sometimes you have your heart broken, but you get your ability to love back. Sometimes spin circles around love only to find out it was right where you started all along.
There has been an imbalance of grief vs joy in my life in the last year or so. Still, I’ve greeted each day with a smile and sorted through the messes and I can say that with grave imbalances comes huge wisdom and insight. It’s like being thrown in ocean and sinking or swimming, human nature is sooo resilient that it WILL learn to swim. I have learned this: joy is not a place you reach, or something you achieve, it’s not something you get, or get to, joy is a moment to moment thing. You can be experiencing grief (the ultimate “negative” emotion, take grief being negative lightly, that one’s a whole other topic) and still find joy. In every challenge, there is always opportunity for joy. We spend so much of our life reaching outwards to things we believe will make us happy. I’ll be happy when… I’ll be successful when… …. I’ll be beautiful when…. I’ll be done when.. DONE???? DONE???!!!!??? We are never done, this is the nature of the beast. But life is not about being done. Joy, or for simplicity’s sake, feeling good, is the underlying motivation for most of the things we reach for. Feeling good, is a moment to moment thing. Haven’t you ever been sad and still laughed? Been hurt and been grateful at the same time? Felt guilty and happy at the same time? Wow doesn’t that sound familiar, a little messy maybe????
All this means is that whatever you’re experiencing now, if you don’t like it, is just a moment, life is a moment to moment thing. And in that moment, or the next one, or the next one, you have an opportunity to seek, or find something that feels better. The better you get at finding joy in your moments, the better the quality of your life will be. The more juice you will pull from everything you experience. And the better you will be at creating things more like the way you want them. Because really, we create through our perception. It’s in how you see things that you create what you experience.