I wake up before I am ready, but I can’t go back to sleep. I lie there for a long time. Thinking, plotting, writing, wondering. When I finally get up, I light incense, pour water, swallow a pill of probiotics, and spoon granola into yogurt. Aromatherapy, hydration, nutrition. If I had more time, I would brew myself some tea from my vast cupboards of dried herbs. Herbal medicine.
I move to my favorite spot on the couch and I write the email that’s been stewing in my head, but then I can’t send it. My internet is feeling spotty, again. Perhaps it’s for the best.
I’m sitting in this fold of time, looking out at the next six months of my life. Suddenly I have so many things to look forward to. Known and unknown. I check my email on my phone, it’s a compulsion. Another rejection has arrived. An essay I submitted to a website I never read. To be honest, I don’t read many websites these days. My heart is in book-length endeavors. My heart races anyways.
But I’m still here. In this quiet embrace of my living room. Sitting with the comforting whirr of the furnace. The gentle whoosh of passing cars. The city of San Francisco as she stretches awake. She looks different than I thought she would. But what doesn’t look different than we thought it would?
At a Waldorf preschool tour the other day, the teacher said something that stood out to me: we want our kids to struggle.
The struggle, after all, is what inspires the oyster to make a pearl, the salmon to grow their delicious orange flesh. Struggle does not mean there’s something wrong with us. Struggle does not come because we deserved it. Struggle came to open us and stir up our contents. We are hot bubbling cauldrons of savory primordial stew. There is growth in struggle. Expansion. We are the diamonds creating our shine.
When I told a thoughtful friend that I was suspended in struggle, she used my symptoms to pick this affirmation out of a Louise Hay book for me: Divine right action is always taking place in my life. Only good comes from each experience. Right timing. It is safe to grow.
The mere act of living means we encounter walls. Some might seem small at first glance, but when we stack them up, they loom. We have to kick off our shoes and climb to the top and jump down on the other side without breaking both feet. Sometimes, we break anyways. With time and care, we heal. Afterwards we may appear the same as before, but inside, we are different at the cracks. Grittier.
Good and bad experiences are too intertwined to untangle. So we look for the angle where we can see divine right action peeling away the layers to reveal something precious.
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