A Box of Fireworks
I missed writing to you all for July 4th. You should have received an email from me but you didn’t. That is hard for me. It is also reflective of where I am. And where I am is only hard for me if I fight it and make it wrong to be here. Instead, I’m going to sidestep around the 360 to look into my current literal and figurative living space with a different lens.
The image above is of my dining room table. Welcome to my home.
I have just returned from my fifth and final Certification trip to Calgary as well as an extra 10 days of family vacation time. It was hard and glorious. Hard to be far away from home. Glorious to be far away from home. Hard to be far away from ground zero of grief. Glorious to be far away from ground zero of grief. Hard to be away from family. Glorious to be with the dearest of people in Calgary.
Upon my return home, I met with my therapist to begin unpacking the corners of grief that I was stiff arming during the tail end of my travels. And to be frank, it is a box of fireworks. It is a Pandora’s box of sorts to turn toward your grief. Because tied up in grief – as so many know who have chosen to walk into its eye and meet it – is the weave of your Being. Nestled into grief is the bedrock of your prior understanding of life and the lack of understanding of your present situation. And navigating the waters in between those two places is the journey you can choose to make. In fact, it is a journey that I do believe may be critical for peace following the warp time travel of loss that drops your heart so very far ahead of your brain.
The gold of this is that in my training as a yoga therapist (a.k.a. Life 101), I’ve learned a new skillset and unearthed buried abilities to be with this grief without my everyday freezing up. I have the stamina and container to hold more feeling in one moment than I did prior to my Certification program. Or perhaps more accurately, I have the stamina and container to allow more feelings to roll through me in their own perfect time. The beauty of letting more roll through on its own current is that I am not so caught in the grip of one emotion or thought. When I’m not caught in a grip, I can step back and see more of what I need in a given moment.
And right now, I need to be with the messy. Right now, I need to let my dining room table mirror the fireworks in my head and heart. Right now, I need to let my kid’s play room floor have piles of toys. Because I’m feeling like I’m over hiding the “fireworks” box in the closet. (Remember, not literal fireworks. We do not have literal fireworks in our common room or children’s closets.) Over the course of my training, I’ve taken out the sparklers and the North Carolina very basic approved firecrackers of my inner self. Yet, I do believe I’m stepping into some more serious pyrotechnics now. South Carolina style high sky explosions.
As a result, stacks of life on my dining room table are representations of the myriad of thoughts, experiences and projects in process. As are the plethora of playroom toys that are normally so perfectly hidden in tucked away bins. Right now, my self work is to look at those piles of chaos and to be with them. Perhaps I can love them for the fact that I invited each and every single thing into my life at some point – or at least accepted it when it entered my door. Then I can see that all of our Stuff – physical, emotional and beyond – has a time and a place for holding and a time and a place for release.
For now, I will sit with and feel what my dining room table piles create in me.
Broken toys that have passed their prime. School forms for my two older kiddos as they begin the journey of Kindergarten and Second Grade. A Career Journal of my husband’s left untouched with space for dreams and More. A reflective book on understanding suicide and the correlating journal.
Heaviness for time passing. A contraction of my heart walls.
Containers to return to dear friends that have brought food to my doorstep. Books related to my work of helping others to help themselves. Teas that served me in the winter and spring. Toy swords that my kiddos tend to get overzealous with as they play with one another. Seeds for the ground that I have never given to my Earth. A coffee maker that awaits the return of my parents. Bags of gifts for others that I have not chosen to deliver as of yet.
Connection beyond my chest to what is not in my body. An outward expansion of my heart walls.
Unknowns. Open questions. Things that I don’t have context for and that are not mine to hold or “do” with. They are for others.
I don’t want to any longer just pick up these things and hide them in a desk or the basement or on a shelf. I want to see them. To see their service to me. And to move them to their rightful next place wherever that may be when the time is right.
My kitchen counters are still relatively clear. The laundry is still going through its loads of washing and folding and drawers and return again. But the piles of stuff both seen and unseen are softly inviting me to be with them. To love them. To accept them. Not to hide them.
And I have a niggly feeling that once I accept these piles of stuff both physical and emotional – that box of fireworks with all its dancing lights, colors and heat – then the release of all will come naturally. One small step at a time. Feeling. Being. Acting. Living.
This is no sprint. This is the marathon of loving life. We embrace what is and allow the explosion of glorious hard love to bathe us. Fittingly enough, a huge clap of thunder just echoed as I wrote the prior words.