The roller coaster mystery

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I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions, mainly in and out of despair.

This season of my life has been about trusting the Universe, and I suck at it. It’s OK that I suck at it because eventually, I’ll get better at it, and maybe teach others how to do it without sounding sanctimonious and shrill.

The despair corkscrew turns, though, have been quicker and easier to get through. I don’t spend that much time in them, catastrophizing the worst because I’ve already been through the worst. And if the worst happens again, berating myself for not being positive enough is not going to help me, period. Ironically, and thankfully, I use that hostile energy and transmute it to some desperately needed self-compassion.

know where I’ve been. I know my scars. I know how to love me best.

Even if I think outside of the need to be right, the intention of wanting better for others can sound really…not like that. Spirituality is not as formulaic and easy as we Westerners make it out to be. I’ll write about this another time, but the mystery of faith and spirituality cannot be found in some pithy sayings or programs.

I usually have some semblance of a map for my life. I like seeing the whole forest of my life. I know the paths I should take, and even with obstacles, eventually I will get there. On this leg of my journey, I have to go step by step. It’s a theme in my life down here, of wanting to know 10 steps ahead but only being able to see the step head.

The trees for the forest. Only one piece of a map. Fog rolling in and out. The trees start to morph into different trees. The path becomes impassable. You keep going anyway.

The frenetic pace of life slows to walking speed, even with the internal cries of “How will this bill be paid?” start to drown out the hope and strength I’ve grown into and have fought for. I can’t go any faster than–apply for this job. Talk to this person. Read this. Meditate. Pray. Continue to ask for help. Be patient, be patient, for fuck’s sake–be patient.

Even as I get sick from being dunked in the pits of despairs while being brought up to the mountaintops of hope, this is how it goes. The mucking about, figuring it out, the stumbling, the clawing, the crawling, and even sometimes the running…the up and down on the roller coaster–you don’t escape it. You embrace it, as much as you can.

I suck at embracing the roller coaster mystery, too. But eventually, the exhaustion of being vigilant, of trying to figure it out all at once so I can feel safe, of trying to pick the outcomes I want–it’s all caught up to me and laid me out.

It’s not upsetting, though–I’m relieved. I have a little smidgen of peace that I can hold. In this moment, all is well. My mind wants to list all the things in my life and in the world that are not well, but it’s really true–even if my mind doesn’t want to agree. Like the well-meaning naysayers, my mind wants me to be safe. But we can’t control (for) everything. Your best is good enough and my best is good enough. You can’t quit the ride. You hang on.

The ride never ends. You just get better at handling the turns.

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