As I type these words, the world beyond my window is blanketed by snow. There is silence in the house, save for the hum of the refrigerator, the whisper of warm air rising from the grates in the floor. I’ve laid in groceries, mopped the salt and grit from the entryway, put tulips in a vase on the table. The shoveling and snow-clearing can wait. There is no place to go, nothing to do but chop and roast some vegetables later for dinner. Time slows. Edges soften. I feel a weight in my heart slowly begin to lift, my breath settle back into a deeper rhythm, my own sense of myself returning.
For a week I’ve been struggling with some old, familiar demons. The fear of not being enough. The need to protect my tenderest, most vulnerable feelings from the harsh light of day. Self-doubt. Regret for things said and unsaid in a relationship I cherish. The wish that I could feel less, hurt less, and slough off more. A piercing disappointment that try as I might to shape my life, there is and will always be so much that’s beyond my control or understanding. The realization that I’m not quite as good at non-attachment as I like to think I am.
“The root of all suffering,” the Buddhists say, “is the desire for things to be different than they are.”
So simple. So true. But knowing it is so doesn’t make the wanting and the wishing go away. [continue...]