I’ve been feeling haunted lately. Overwhelmed by the frequent visits of the ghosts of anxiety and depression.
I’ve unlatched the windows and left the doors wide open. I’ve welcomed them in and made them tea. We’ve curled up on the couch together and I’ve let them talk me into the same old habits.
The moping. The dreading. The hiding.
I have always liked the quote by Rumi…
Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.
In this bittersweet world of heartbreak, delight, suffering and awe, finding this balance becomes a matter of survival.
I need to hold on to the sweet, the good, the lovely and the joyful. These things are like a life raft, the only barrier between me and the freezing waters below.
I must let go of the bitter, the sad, the unfair and the awful. Because holding them too long scorches my hands, blinds my sight and cripples my whole being.
It sometimes seems cruel to me that we were created with such inquisitive minds, yet left with so many unanswered and unanswerable questions.
I so often wonder why… but I am old enough to know now that there are somethings we don’t know.
Perhaps everything doesn’t happen for reason. Maybe some things just happen.
So as I’m wrestling with my confusion and trying to make sense of the mess I see around me, I have decided that I will refuse to let the darkness win. I won’t be overcome by sadness, emptiness or numbness.
Right now, I am choosing to live. I am searching for beauty in the midst of this messy world, in the middle of my messy life and here’s why I think you should too…
Reasons to live:
When you hold someone you love so much that you cannot help but squeeze them tightly. Willing them to never let you go. And that precious feeling of realising that they are squeezing you right back.
Sitting outside in the summer with clear, blue skies above you. The sun warming your back and penetrating its warmth deep down into your soul.
Going to the beach and feeling the salt cling to your skin. The way it leaves your hair matted and lingers on your tongue. The sand that squishes in between your toes, gathers in your towel and spreads absolutely everywhere.
Jumping into a bed covered with freshly washed sheets. So crisp and clean you feel like royalty.
Biting into a soft dinner roll that is still warm from being in the oven. Spreading butter lavishly across the bread and watching as it sinks in beautifully.
Staying outside to watch the dusk melt a glorious sunset into the dark night sky.
Getting dressed up to go somewhere fancy. Feeling like a million dollars.
Watching a delicate butterfly dancing lightly on the breeze.
That fluttery, stomach-sinking feeling of talking to someone you like very much.
When it’s cool in the winter and you can see your breath billow around you like smoke from a dragon.
When you share a special smile with someone that only the two of you understand.
That floopy feeling you get when drinking cocktails on an empty stomach.
Bagels that are toasted, smeared with thick layers of cream cheese and boysenberry jam.
Thawing out your fingers beside the fire after braving the icy wind outside.
Napping in the afternoon and waking up feeling all cozy and yummy.
Finding a cafe that makes a perfect cup of coffee. Inhaling the soothing scent and buzzing when the caffeine finally wakes you up.
The satisfaction of eating something you grew all by yourself in your garden.
Back rubs and side hugs.
Coming home after a very long day and kicking your shoes off your tired feet. Putting on comfy slippers that melt beneath each step.
Watching a thunderstorm roll in. Feeling the rumble of thunder echo in your chest. That violent terror that shakes you with every bolt of lightening.
Being out in the middle of nowhere on a crisp night and seeing millions of stars twinkling high above you.
Finding that deliciously soft spot of fur behind a dog’s ears.
Toasting marshmallows over a campfire so that they blister and crisp perfectly on the outside while remaining gooey through the centre.
Fresh tomatoes that carry an earthy scent. Rosy-red cheeked and sweet to eat.
Kisses that almost stop time. Making you forget where and who you are for a teensy tiny second.
The fresh start of a new day, a new month and a new year. A blank page full of possibilities.
And on and on I go, counting my blessings and remembering the reasons for living. Remembering all the wonderful moments sprinkled throughout the mundane in my every day.
This world is vast.
It stretches on further than our minds can grasp.
There is so much to explore, so much to experience, so much to beauty we have yet to see.
I know that the bitter is very real. Burning our throats as it goes down. Pulling the curtains and blocking the sunlight. Turning our whole world upside down.
But let us not forget the sweet. Let us not become numb to its gentle caress. It is the sweet that makes life worth living.
There are so many resolutions we could make this year. So many promises to ourselves and to others.
But for me, there is only one resolution I will be making.
To search wholeheartedly for beauty in my everyday life.
To shut the door on anxiety and depression. To seek help when I need it and give myself grace in abundance.
To refuse to cling onto the bitter but instead, to remember the sweet.