It was Christmas Eve. I don’t know what it was, perhaps it was the long hours combined with those wacky hour’d night shifts topped up with a lack of sleep, or else it was the fact that I was realizing I was alone – I was sad. A tear shower hit. Puffy eyes and all. It hit pretty hard as soon as I woke up. For the most part, I’m a happy camper on my own. However, there’s something about this time of year that for me, gives me a feeling of uneasiness. Of frustration. Of feeling different. All pretty much boiling down to my good ol’ friend – loneliness.
I’m learning lately – a balance. It’s a pattern of mine to have high bursts of happiness mixed with low points of exhaustion. Instead of becoming frustrated with this, and labelling myself with unkind words, I am choosing to accept. To be okay with the way I am. To learn from every moment. To just be. So Christmas Eve. I cried, asked for help then hid in bed for the majority of the morning. Pathetic? Maybe. But it’s what I needed to do. At that moment, it’s what I needed to do.
I woke up to a text. Want to go snowshoeing? Ummmm… YES. I covered up the puffiness, shoved on a toque, and was out the door in 15 minutes. Mandy had saved the day. My heart sings when I’m in the trees. It sings even more when I’m with friends who lift me up. Who inspire me. Who listen. Who relate. Who so easily help transform tears into belly laughs. Who help me to see the big picture. That everything is going to be okay. And adding yoga to the mix? Always makes everything better. Snow-ga for the soul. What a beautiful day it turned out to be. Imagine that. Even though I still had a feeling of uneasiness and perhaps fear, my heart was smiling. I was allowing myself to be okay with whatever was going on. And what I learned from a recent comment (thank you) was this: “Just remember that smiling with your heart doesn’t always mean you have to be smiling with your mouth”. Bravo.
It’s inevitable. There are going to be good days, which are so easy it makes you wonder how life could be hard at all. But then, there are those other days. The days where we struggle. Sometimes with even a struggle to get out from under the covers. No matter what, I believe that these feelings are a teacher. “The only way is through” – Pema Chodron (thanks Marr). Feel it. Sit with it. Don’t stuff it down. Do something that makes you feel good. That allows you to become familiar with these feelings, yet at the same time enables you to smile with your heart. Something that makes your soul shine. Even better if it makes your soul do summersaults (snow-ga for me!). And remember, this doesn’t have to mean that you need a smile on your face. A smiling heart is a tear shower’s best friend. Because you are content. Because you are genuinely okay. You trust. You know that everything is going to be alright. You know. You always know.
You are never the only one. You are never in this alone. Be honest with yourself and with the people you surround yourself with. You will be awed at how many people feel the exact same way as you.
Smile with your heart