If you’re looking for stability, learn to count on yourself and your ability to face reality as it is. The “as it is” part is challenging, because it won’t always be the way we think it ought to be or the way we’ve envisioned it in our minds, and the “as it is” part is also not easy to wrap your head or your heart around, because it’s always in flux. It should really be about facing reality as it is in this moment. This is great to remember if you’re suffering right now — if you’re feeling hopeless or desperate or bitter or totally apathetic. Feelings aren’t permanent. There are certain heartbreaks you’ll carry with you for your entire life, but the intense searing pain of them will subside; the scar will form where that burning may be now, and that scar can be the symbol of your further opening, or your closing and hardening. To me those scars are like thorns on a rose. They happen on the way up, during the growth, but they lead to the most amazing blossoming. The deepest color of you.
We like to “fix” things, to feel like they’ll be where we left them, exactly as we remember them. It gives us a sense of security in this world where we are forced to realize that we don’t know what is going on, what we’re doing here, what happens after this. Just because these things are unknowable until they aren’t, you really have to grapple with them if you want to be at peace. You have to struggle and investigate and come up with answers that make sense to you, but as you do that, or as you try not to do that, you will probably want some sense of stability in this world, on this spinning globe. And so you will want your keys to be where you left them and you might need to have everything “in its place” before you walk out the door. You might put your mat in the same spot whenever you go to class, because you like to count on that. That one thing. You may try to do it with people, too. This person is mine. This person belongs to me. The truth is, we all belong to each other, we’re all connected, but you can never own another person. People are not possessions. Your children are not mere extensions of you, birthed into this world to make you look good. We all have to find our own way. There is a GPS for people. It’s called intuition, and if you’ve been following yours, you’re probably doing pretty well, but we aren’t trained to tune into it.
We’re taught that happiness and peace lie in externals. If you look right and go to a good school and get a good job and drive a nice car and get yourself a house and find someone to complete you, you’ll be good to go. As if there’s a formula, a game-plan you can work, a bunch of circumstances you can control, and some happiness equation that can only be solved when you meet someone else. But if you’ve tried going down that linear, orderly path, you know it doesn’t lead to your happiness because people aren’t robots, and life isn’t a game we’re playing, and if you want to be happy, that is your sole responsibility. Each person is a miraculous combination of 37 trillion or so cells and a lifetime of memories and heartaches and deep fears and moments of incredible shame, guilt, doubt, joy, ecstasy and imagination. You can’t set up “markers” for this stuff. The more you try to control life, and the people who are in your life, the more despair you’ll create for yourself. You’ll never be able to control or predict what life will set in your path or what other people will do, say, want or need. Not your partner. Not your children. Not your best friends. Not even yourself much of the time, unless you work on it quite a lot.
As much as you can, open to the adventure, to the ever-changing nature of things. It may not be comfortable, but at least life is always interesting. Recognize that love means you give people the freedom to be fully themselves, and sometimes that means they will leave you. Love doesn’t block the door. Not just because it’s unselfish, but also because love knows that’s not good for your tender heart. Love loves in the midst of change. In the midst of chaos or longing or grief or fear. Love just loves. It embraces everything. Don’t waste too much energy trying to control things or people, accept that it can’t be done. Live intentionally, and follow your own heart, your own inner yes. Try not to “peg” people, because how they once were is not always how they’ll be. Show yourself the same consideration and compassion. Do your best not to cling to ideas too tightly, or opinions, because they’ll cloud your ability to open to anything else. If you’re going to be riding this roller coaster with its twists and turns and tunnels without light and steep uphill climbs and exhilarating falls and scary ones, too, those rotations where you’re suddenly upside down, and those times when you think you might just throw up, only to be followed by gleeful screaming and laughter from the very heart of you, then you might as well do it with your arms in the air, your head thrown back, and your mouth full of yes. Hoping you can simply open to the ride and find your center through it all. That’s your stability, that beautiful heart of yours.
Sending you love,