[ Photo unrelated other than I took it today because it looked like how I felt.]
I meditated last night. Yes, I’m a Buddhist and we’re all supposed to meditate and it’s the point of the whole thing… but it’s so very rare that my meditating is meditating. It’s so often the daily practice of toddlerhood. Keeping calm in the eye of the tantrum. Soothing the angry beast into his bath. Basking in the glow of a thousand plastic firetrucks. Delighting in a new word, a sloppy kiss.
But last night I meditated meditated. I needed it. I went back to Momma Zen and the appendix for instructions. Maybe by rare, I meant never. My head was buzzing, my whole body felt abuzz with the swarm of a thousand unbidden thoughts.
This is a thought. This is another thought. This is another thought. This is another thought.
And whooosssshhhhh, by letting them go, they let me sleep a little. Counting, holding my hands in each other, I could feel my breath slow, my heart stop trying to go into warp drive. I was not so lucky with my afternoon nap. My head kept racing, racing, racing. I tried to let the thoughts go, but there were simply too many of them. As each one went by, a new thought came up instantaneously. I could not simply be in the moment. I could not simply feel what I felt. I could not put a word to it and by so doing, release it.
I was raised as a Buddhist kid and went down a few different spiritual paths before coming back to Buddhism in the aftermath of My Own Personal Apocalypse. I didn’t come back because of any deep insight or any awakening, I came back because it saved me. In my darkest, most horrible moments, I called out to G-d and said “This hurts.” And the response I got was “Yes, it does.” And that’s how I got through it. I hurt, and I hurt, and I hurt. And I sat with the hurt and I felt it and I said to myself “This is what it feels like to hurt.” And by letting it just hurt, it would stop hurting so bad and I could move on. And after a while longer, it didn’t hurt as much. And after a while longer, the hurt stopped – leaving behind a perfect scar where I had just let it heal. And so my practice began anew.
It’s the highs and the lows where I stop the most. This is what love feels like. This is what joy feels like. This is peace. This is contentment. This is what frustrated feels like. This is what anger feels like. This is what exhausted feels like. This is what pain feels like. This is what grief feels like. This is what helplessness feels like. What I’m feeling now, I’ve yet to find a name for. I can’t put my finger on it, which is perhaps why I can’t simply release the thoughts rushing around. At best, I can say this is what raw feels like.
I don’t know where I’m going with this, other than this is what raw feels like. This is what vulnerable feels like.
I cried a bit. Nuno told me not to cry as there’s nothing I can do right now, which, I explained to him is exactly why I’m crying. If there was something I could do, I would do it, and then I wouldn’t need to cry.
There are big things and there are little things. There are big gaping holes and there are little joys. There are milestones and setbacks. Right now, life is going big. Right now, the writers are trying to jack up the ratings. Right now, the drama is unfolding. Right now I don’t know what right now feels like.
And so, for maybe the first time, I meditated because for the first time, I don’t have a word for how I feel.
(Ok, so, yes, the post below this highlights the ridiculousness of my leggings and the insane amount of eyeliner I slap on my person. I contain multitudes.)