Taking It In: The Nature of Waking Up

I heard the other day: The very nature of waking up is to be aware. And boy did I walk into our life on the road wanting that. I wanted not to ice skate across the surface of life, but to slow down, savor my kids’ ages and personalities, discuss more with them, be more present with them, engage them, Jam, and life more. Space to question. Space to get off the hamster wheel. Space to do things differently. Space to get creative. Space to explore. Space to absorb this incredible life around me. And yes, that’s been a part of it and yes I want more.

But I am also learning that this awareness, this scuba-diving-not-snorkeling that my mom coined, comes with burden. I am more face-to-face with all the things I can typically ice skate over or through. Alongside the beauty, the time, the reflection, there is also pain that comes with staring life in the face harder than you ever have before. The hards feel harder, the weakness feel debilitating, the tears more frequent, the failures more common. I’m learning to, like Rumi suggests, to invite them in as houseguests. I’m learning not to be afraid of them or recoil from them. But simply to let them be a part of the scuba diving. Simply cry the tears, fail the things, mess up, and keep going. Don’t recoil. Don’t identify with them. Don’t let them linger.

So my non-ice-skating self feels messier, feels up and feels down more frequently, feels higher highs and lower lows. And on alot of days, that feels like crap, or at least different from my ice-skating-through-it life of efficiency and low maintenance. And on other days, I can trust it and I have the strength to let it be just what it is, a part of it.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

by: Jalaluddin Rumi

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