I’ve been a little low key on social media lately. I lost my brother rather suddenly and tragically at the beginning of March and things just haven’t felt “right” since then. I wanted to put off Writing Wednesdays until I could write a beautiful and poetic blog post about my brother- how great he was, the circumstances of his death, and the lasting imprint he will have on the lives of the people he touched. I’m not there yet. I might not be there for a long time. I do want to write, though.
Tragedy throws our lives out of balance. I’ve done a lot of mind work in my life and have dealt with a fair amount of tragedy. It doesn’t make sudden loss or struggle easy, but it does help. When a tragedy like this strikes, it’s the difference between being thrown off balance while allowing yourself to break down, mourn, cry, etc. and being totally unable to function, submerging and sinking into a sea of depression and anger. Neither reaction will result in my brother coming back to me, but the second reaction is not where I want to be.
I allow myself to be sad, to lean into the emotion and let myself feel what I need to. Doing so actually keeps me from sinking. I try not to indulge in “what if” and “if only” thoughts or do too much superhero fantasizing about going back in time and changing it. I feel and then gently push myself to keep moving.
Whatever emotion we need to feel, we should allow ourselves to feel it. It is what it needs to be. There is no right way to be.
I had this insight when I was about 16: I was driving a friend in my car and she commented that the sky was “perfect.” She meant that there were no clouds in it. It was blue from horizon to horizon. I thought on that for a while. Is a cloudless sky perfect? What about a sky with puffy little white clouds? Or one streaked with a rainbow? Or one blazing from the colors of a sunset? What about a sky full of thunderclouds or fog?
The truth is, all of those are “perfect” skies. The sky is exactly as it needs to be. We are the ones who impose our definitions of “perfect” or even “acceptable” upon something we cannot control. The same can be said about us. If we wait until all of the things we believe make us “perfect” are in alignment, we will wait our entire lives. This is not to say that we shouldn’t strive to improve upon ourselves or our situations, just that we should soften our definition of “perfection” and give ourselves a break when we need to feel sad or we don’t get the job that we want. This is life. Sometimes it rains.