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I woke up today, alone and lonely.
Aware in those transcendent moments between dreaming and awake, that there was only me there, alone in the dawn.
I reached out to grab her, but she wasn’t there. I don’t know where she is, I don’t even know who she is, but I know she is there, out there right now, in the twinkle of dawn’s light, waiting for me.
At times, I thought I knew who she was—but she disappeared, back into akasha, and again, I was alone, for another dawn, another season.
I’ve been sleeping alone for awhile it would seem, and sometimes I wake up lonely, and sometimes loneliness is quite sad.
I’m a happy person, but I’m sad a lot—it’s true. Perhaps people don’t know I’m sad, because I’m happy a lot too, but the sadness is there, a layer in the cake. Even in the joyous moments I feel the sadness too.
There was a grand awakening when it first dawned on me that perpetual happiness was a myth. A prepackaged illusion orchestrated to sell exotic holidays, new relationships, and retail therapy—“happiness forever” is a vacuous carrot that keeps donkeys trotting along dirt roads that lead us right back to where we started.
Happiness is not a crime, but it’s okay to not be happy all of the time. Sometimes we are sad, and sometimes, sadness is a season.
In my study of yoga, I have discovered the joyful thread of dharma weaving through the universe, and into my life. It is my dharma to do my duty, to front up to life, to do my best. And “my best” looks different on each and every day.
Sometimes my best is energized and inspired, enchanted and joyful, purposeful and precise. At other times, “my best” is tragic, woeful, slovenly, demure, heartbroken.
Sometimes my best is to sit in morbid stillness on the couch, desensitizing with Netflix and potato chips. Sometimes my best likes to stare for endless hours at a full moon reflected on a dark sea, wondering, pondering endlessly, “Dear God, why me?”
Sometimes the sadness flitters like a single cloud across a blue-sky day, an exhale of despair, forgotten in a moment.
At other times, the clouds brew for endless weeks, a sky devoid of sunshine—sadness becomes the new normal.
At other times, the sadness is forgotten—days, weeks, whole epochs of life, blue skies each and every day with brooding storms albeit forgotten.
Sitting with sadness
My practice asks me to bear witness to all of this—the dark days and the sunshine, to find connection with the stillness and bear witness to it all.
We bear witness from the stillness, but still we live it all.
The laughter, the despair, the creation, destruction, the final moments, and the rebirth of life.
The great gift of my learning in this lifetime is learning to sit side by side with both the sadness and the joy. To inhabit both experiences fully—perhaps both at the same time.
My experience of yoga, meditation, and recovery has given me these gifts. Not to hide from the sadness, but to sit with it, to return to my place of stillness, connect with my divine, and observe these moments of life, to front up fully on the sad days and do my best there too.
As I do this over time, I do my best to become fully available—on the good days and the sad. I begin to notice that even on the worst days, when all seems lost, that there are moments of new life blooming, moments of tranquility between thunderclouds and raindrops.
Just as on the glory days, when life seems impeccably good, if I let the elation settle to realistic proportions, I can see that here too, there is death as life is blooming, so there is always decay.
Rainbows and thunderclouds, sadness and ecstasy, the rise and the fall—these seasons entwine and morph around life.
Today, in the predawn, I sit here alone, accompanied by the sadness, feeling all of these feelings, and being grateful that I’m here to feel it at all.