I’ve read about being present for so long. I’ve written about it and tried to practice it.
Being present is a wonderful thing. You get to notice and feel things you may never notice or feel had you not stopped. And we all know how hard it is to stop nowadays.
- The sky when the sun is about to come out
- The way the world turns a brilliant shade of lime before it goes deeply green during the Spring
- The way the air smells early in the morning just as the warmth begins to soak up the nighttime
You wouldn’t necessarily notice those things if you weren’t present or prepared to stop in order to see them.
But I’m realising that there are two different types of ‘being present’. There’s the one you get to choose (that’s the one made up of those delicious moments above) and there’s the one that if you don’t choose it you will no longer be able to cope.
That’s what I call Present by Necessity and that is where I am right now. I am living each moment on purpose, deliberately and very, very carefully lest I break in to a million different grief filled pieces and every time a moment passes and moves on to the next one I am just thankful that I am still here and get to go through another moment.
For instance I got up early this morning and watched Episode 3 of the final season of Game of Thrones. I was present, watching it for a little over an hour, distracted yes but it’s what I needed. It was when it ended and I knew I had to get the kids ready for school and out the door (as well as get myself ready) that I felt absolutely terrified. So I got in the shower and I just told myself to get through it, to stay present and get through it.
And you know what?
It is the most powerful practice I have ever employed and I know it’s because gratitude is right in the middle of it. I’ve never allowed the power of gratitude to show itself in my life the way I’m allowing it to show now. I’m extremely lucky (and grateful!!) that gratitude doesn’t hold a grudge or get moody because I’ve clearly called on it in desperation and it’s shown up for me in an incredible way.
Robert and I are extremely fortunate that the way we are moving through our separation is so loving. But we’ve both had moments that have sprung up out of nowhere and punched us in the face.
Little pockets of grief dotted throughout the day. You know the type; they try and make you feel like you are not strong at all. That in fact you’re the least strong person that there ever was and you will never see or feel happiness again. That the whole world is scary and that you have lost your place in it. That loneliness is your cross to bear and it will be with you forever.
But here’s what I know… I’ve been there, thinking those thoughts, and guess what…I’m still alive and I’ve not given up.
I was there when I woke up the morning after my first miscarriage and had forgotten that I was no longer pregnant and only remembered when I saw the towel that I was sleeping on to protect the mattress had blood on it.
I was there after my second miscarrige when a builder called round to check on some work at the house and blood just streamed down my leg in front of him as we both watched it happen rooted to the spot.
I was there when Robert was in hospital being treated for cancer and I was home with one-year old twins and he wasn’t responding to treatment.
I was there when every professional dream I ever had came true and then came crashing down around my ears because I trusted the wrong person.
I was there a few months after my dad nearly died and the fallout from that was still quite raw.
I could go on but I think you understand. And you know why you understand? Because although the events are different, you have been there too and you are still alive. You may be going through them now but you are still here.
Just get through this moment. Notice this moment. Get through this moment. It is ok to live like that when you have something of magnitude happening in your life. It’s called self-preservation AKA Self-Care.
I always loved blogging so much because I found bashing words out on a keyboard and publishing them instantly extraordinarily cathartic and intensely healing. I’ve not done it in so long and I’m not entirely surprised that this life event has eventually found me back here bashing away.
Please don’t think that this will last forever because it won’t. It simply can’t, life itself doesn’t last forever so this time of intense pain can’t either.
But while it’s with you find something, anything, to place even the tiniest amount of gratitude into because whilst you’re in gratitude you can be in no other mindset. And it’s really important to look after your thoughts right now.
It’s ok, you’ve got this. It’s a big life and boy are you living it.
Much love, Cx