Abandon Hope

It's easy to understand why we're anxious, depressed, or terrified when our circumstances are chaotic. It's far more confounding when the outsides are smooth and we've got no good cause to point to for the struggle. I spent most of this weekend trying to find a reason for my rawness. Something to explain my pounding heart, clenched jaw, flipping stomach and throat that keeps threatening to close shut.

But there wasn't one. There isn't.

Except there is.

I'm a human being. Who's probably at least a little mentally different. A canary in the coal mine. But mostly, I'm just a human being. I have energy. It's not here to destroy me, but to guide me, if I can listen to it and feel it and watch it, like the weather.

Finally, today, after a big rainstorm cleared, I walked to my desk and grabbed "When Things Fall Apart" by Pema Chodron from the stack of go-tos.

I opened the book to this:

"Giving up hope is encouragement to stick with yourself, to make friends with yourself, to not run away from yourself, to return to the bare bones, no matter what's going on.

It's counter-intuitive to give up hope, no? But think of it like this:

"Giving up hope of all alternatives to the present moment, we can have a joyful relationship to with our lives, an honest, direct relationship, one that no longer ignores the reality of impermanence and death."

So what if I stopped trying to feel something else other than exactly what I'm feeling? What if I stopped seeking an alternative? What if I stopped looking for a reason? What if we never need a reason?

This is not a new lesson, but I needed to remember. And once I did, for the first time in three days, I felt a crack of relief catch in my chest.

There's a reason I call Pema "The Mothership", lovelies.

Happy Sunday.