Being back. 2 weeks in. Where to even start. That’s a tough one.
Weird dreams. Weird sleeps. Not being able to sleep. Not wanting to be alone. Moments of appreciation, even more moments of anger. Mixed emotions. A mess. A big ball of confusion. Yep, that pretty much sums up the past few weeks.
As soon as I got back from Haiti, I threw myself into work. Partly to make up for lost time in order to pay the bills, partly because of my new found love of my job, but also (what I most recently realized) as a rebound. Distraction. Busyness. Avoidance of reality. Coming back from Haiti has given me some of the same mixed emotions as that of a nasty breakup. Those feelings of, “did that just really happen?”; “Is this my new reality?”. You know, waking up and not really sure how to feel. Wanting to do anything but be alone so that, God forbid, you’d actually have to FEEL all of those mixed emotions. Which is what I haven’t quite yet allowed myself to do. Until the past few days, where I’ve taken some time for myself.
I’ve been putting off this blog post for the same reason as putting off having to deal with what happened. I’ve been ignoring yoga, meditation and even talking about my trip really at all. Why? Because any and all of these things would mean having to digest it all. It would mean having to admit the suffering I saw and the feelings I became apart of. Anything that would bring up the uneasiness, I’ve been putting off. It’s easy to come back and pretend everything is the same. Looking around and seeing what has been my ‘normal’ for 30 years. That’s easy. It’s right in front of me. This is how it always has been.
Just as it’s easy to pretend everything is okay after a breakup, we all know it’s definitely not. Things are different. A massive change. An adjustment is necessary in order to move forward. No matter how hard you try to force that smile, things look different. You become aware of the rawness inside of you which might have been previously covered up. Which you might not have been aware was even there. Things all of a sudden seem to be the most real that you could have imagined possible. As if all of the fluffiness has been taken away. But in a good way…
Something was definitely taken from me in Haiti. But in a good way. For some reason this experience is bringing me back to having my heart broken. The first time that my fairytale bubble – my fluffy, magical reality filled with rainbows and unicorns – was popped. The naiveness I held within me was stripped. This is the first time I remember feeling such raw emotion. Looking back at this experience, I am so brutally grateful. Life wouldn’t be the same today without this inner awareness. This realization of the capacity of raw and real feelings I hold inside. I wouldn’t be able to express my opinions so easily or hold such a sense of gentle confidence. I wouldn’t be who I am today.
Something similar happened to me after witnessing and being a part of the Haitian spirit. I came back to Vancouver stoked on life. Just as one might at first be stoked to scream at the top of their lungs, stoked on life, “I’M SINGLE!”, before realizing all of the work that is involved with moving forward. So that’s me now. I’ve felt the initial ‘high’ of being back. I’ve screamed the “LIFE IS AWESOME!” at the top of my lungs. I’ve gained a new love and passion for my job, of being a million times more grateful for everything I have in my life, of having such a greater sense of appreciation with everything I do. That part was easy. The harder part comes with some work. It comes with some anger. With coming to terms with a less naïve reality. Which is the best thing that could have possibly happened to me.
I’ve only begun to notice a few things. A few raw emotions. For one: don’t bother complaining to me. I hate to admit it, but I’ve lost a sense of compassion. I know we all have our own problems, and fair enough, but things could always be worse. We, for the most part, have choice. I have a choice. If I’m complaining about something, it is a new reminder to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Why? Because I can. Another thing? I have gained an overflowing amount of appreciation. For everything. And I’m finding that people who aren’t appreciative of me, and for what I do for them or for what they have, well there’s not too much room to give in that relationship. I guess you could say I’ve lost a certain amount of patience for people who just don’t care. Or, rather, who don’t realize what they can be grateful for.
So to sum it up, I’ve lost a sense of compassion, and a sense of patience. But in a good way. Rather than being taken away from me, I have let them go. A choice. With this, I have gained so much. SO, SO much. I am such a deeper, happier, real person because of this experience. With a new found passion to serve. I guess we can only give so much of ourselves. There has to be some give and take. We can’t give and give and give everything of ourselves to everyone we come across. I guess I’m just choosing to be more selective. More selective of how much compassion I want to give, of how much patience I want to practice. Which makes me feel good. Which allows me to remain full. Which allows me to stay in a steady, overflowing state of gratitude.
Smile with your heart!