Today didn't start so well, but it seems to be ending in a much better place. I woke up still reeling from yesterday and unable to process any of it (or even to access the toolkit I've spent years developing). I've used the phrase "underwater" before, to refer to those times - and this morning, I was drowning emotionally. When I'm in that state, I simply can't pull myself up. But I made myself get up and take the muffins and scones in my freezer to the soup kitchen, so that was a start. I also tucked some of the granola bars my sister had sent me into my backpack.
In my ideal world, I'd take the time to get centered again - to find alignment - before diving into work, but hours upon hours of walking and journaling and meditating yesterday didn't help much, so I decided to escape through work. I'm grateful to have something to work on, though on paper, I should have finished it by today (it's taking much longer than I expected). I took a few breaks, ran errands and generally kept myself distracted.
Mid-afternoon, I went for another walk. I saw a homeless man - one I haven't seen before - asking people for money, and I took out one of the granola bars, walked up to him and said, "I don't have money, but here's some food if you'd like." He stared at it and didn't seem to understand what it was (up close, I could smell that he was drunk), but he took it without a word or a look. It wasn't my most open-hearted give (I was still wrapped in my own head), yet it was something. I kept walking and wasn't my most gracious to the elderly man who always wants to talk to me - I spoke to him, but only in passing. His attention often - always - feels intrusive, yet most of the time, I can at least be friendly. I wasn't rude, just terse. It's all relative, though... Inside, I wanted to yell at him to leave me alone. So by comparison, I was downright pleasant.
I walked and looked at the beauty all around me thinking, "Yeah, this is nice," but still wrapped in pain. Finally, I came across a young family (mother, father and son) trying to take a picture of themselves with the mom's iPhone. So I offered to take pictures for them. The son was so adorable - maybe six or seven? (I'm not good with guessing kids' ages) He was sitting on his father's shoulders, ruffling his mother's hair. That made me smile.
Later, I was able to talk to my sister. I realized I hadn't had a good, in-depth conversation with anyone since I last spoke to her - on Sunday. Not entirely true - I had a good conversation yesterday, but it also left me reeling in confusion. Talking to her made all the difference. She is such a gift in my life. Right now, she's my only confidante, and I feel very emotionally dependent on her. She's always been a mother figure to me, even though she's only 10 years older (our mother died when I was nine). We drifted apart for a long time (like, 20 years), and then reconnected deeply about three years ago. What I think I was experiencing was a re-triggering of the pain of my mother's death. I've worked through it completely on a conscious psychological level, yet every time I experience loss, there's some part of that experience that resurfaces. I know pain comes up to be released; I only wish that, in practice, it were that simple.
I'm not quite back on my emotional feet, but I am able to see again - to see all the things I have, to appreciate my life.
Hope you all had good Fridays - happy weekend! Cheers!