March 31, 2020

What if I Love this New Way of Life?

I know you’re scared, and I know you’re uncertain—but I’m starting to fall in love.

The significance of this experience, the challenge it’s bringing me, exhausting and invigorating, this collective pause we are all required to take, I must admit I love it more than I hate it. The ugly, the humorous, and the painful parts of it—I’m all in. 

The magic to me is in the polarity: our interconnectedness has separated us and we must face our solitude in order to unite again. It’s quite tongue-in-cheek, actually, in a society that has idolized busyness, being and doing more on a constant basis. Now it’s time to slow down, question habits, adapt behaviours. It’s time to change the focus.

Usually an eternal optimist, cheekily mocked for my rose-coloured glasses, my belief in the good of people, and the smeller of roses. Falling in love is messy and terrifying, not always easy and never expected—but somehow we fall anyway. We trust the process with our fears and hopes intertwined with a faith bigger than us. I didn’t want to love this; in fact, I gritted my teeth and put my head in the sand for days—but it just made me mad at the world and myself.

Slow, quiet mornings; long car drives with good music; and the smell of coffee brewing at any time of the day. True connection, bursts of laughter from unexpected texts, and the ridiculousness of toilet paper memes. Not rushing anywhere, less traffic, less polluting, more purging of the unnecessary, more reading through the night and talking on the phone to dear friends. 

The sunrise as it illuminates each inch of my kitchen, neighbours waving from their porches whom I’ve never acknowledged before, and learning how to lead yoga through a screen. Teaching the kids classic card games, making pasta from scratch, muddy afternoon bike rides, throwing a baseball in the backyard—and in all of that, noticing just how beautiful their souls have become and how green their eyes can be when they are happy. Each stage of their lives I have enjoyed more than the last—but this part, I want them to remember how united we were as a family.

I love that we are forced to work as a community, not only ours but as a whole—connected from nation to nation, from human to human, with empathy and compassion for people we’ve never met. I love that the superheroes are our front-line workers as they work endless hours keeping us safe and healthy, and I hope this gratitude remains even when we return to a more recognized life. 

I love the difficult, strong, and powerful. The contrast, the yin and the yang. I’m attracted to unapologetically unwavering raw qualities and people.

What’s happening right now is all of that. An uncomfortable shift forcing us to feel things—all of the things whereas many of us had become numb, because numb is easier than vulnerable.

There’s an overwhelming amount of uncertainty, anxiety, and fear right now. I’m not negating it or diminishing the severity of it—my business lies in the carnage as well. However, I’m choosing to change my focus to the things I can control. I’m choosing love, though it’s not always easy—especially when a grocery cart spilling over with toiletry supplies passes me—but I’m committed to understanding we are all doing the best we can. Equanimity.

An optimist, yes, but I’m also sensitive, which has brought my own messy moments, and my angry, irritated, and lonely ones. I’m always the strong one; I’m the leader, the caretaker, and the boss.

That role has only intensified lately, as those around me lean into my light, when truthfully at times all I desire is for someone to protect me, to tell me when this scary part will be over. But I am returning to whom I love, why I love, and what I love, and that is how I’m propelling forward.

I fall in love with leaves as they fall from the branches and dance in the wind, careless and free.

This chapter is that—freeing ourselves from things that do not serve us before we know what will fill it in. I’m trusting the process, I’m appreciating it knowing full well it won’t last forever—it’s just a season.

Every messy, unpredictable part, I’m learning to love it exactly as it is.

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