By: Bethanie Jones
It’s 4 a.m. and I’m wide-awake. My mind won’t shut off. I feel scared and confused and wildly anxious. I have to be up in an hour to go to my meaningless corporate job and put on a happy face. I stare at this blank screen, knowing I want to write but not sure what I intend to say. How can I write a good message for others when I myself am feeling so lost? Why is it so difficult to move freely without expectation? Why do our minds always go straight to the end result? Why is it that our inner worlds are so much different than our outer worlds, and how can we find balance? What would we do differently if fear weren’t holding us back?
Money, the opinions of others and having health insurance matter to most of us. These ideals are both what allow us to “fit in” and what binds us. It’s a catch 22 really. Our souls are crying for freedom and expression but living authentically just doesn’t feel all that practical at first glance. I can’t just quit my job today to go meditate in a Himalayan cave, because I have a therapy appointment this afternoon and a prescription to pick up at Walgreens and who would make dinner? My inner world is screaming and my outer world is an absolute bore.
In the past 3 months, I’ve had a coworker and 2 grandparents pass away. Most days I just lay in bed and cry and feel sorry for myself. I lack direction and drive and I just want to give up. There’s a little voice though in the back of my mind if I am still enough to listen, that keeps me from falling too far into despair. It tells me this is not the end, but rather, only just the beginning of something new. This voice keeping me awake tonight is telling me today is different. This is life’s way of reminding me (again) that we all have an inescapable expiration date, and what we do with our time here is solely up to us.
The spiritual path of a householder in my opinion is one of the most difficult. We constantly must search for balance. We get distracted with societal pressures, and we are more likely to fall off track if we aren’t careful. We often feel lost and confused and as if something just isn’t quite “right”. We are pros at multitasking and we’ve learned how to do it all. The plus side is, we are impeccably skilled at picking ourselves back up because we do it so often. We are survivors, and we land on our feet. People like us sometimes think renouncing the world would be much easier than actually living in it, but we never give up. We keep fighting.
The heart that beats in me beats in you. We all share the same pain and the same emotions. The temporary bead of our breath is what unites us. We’ve suffered loss, and we are reminded of it every day. The man at the gas station is suffering too. We aren’t sure where our next step will take us, and sometimes we let fear get in the way. We pray for guidance in the morning, and we pray in gratitude at night. We do what we can, and we try our best -even if sometimes we aren’t convinced it will be enough.
Knowing this wont pay the bills or take away any of your problems, but I hope that the unspoken support and the sense of not being alone in your troubles will lift you to a place of bravery, compassion and fearlessness.
May we fight these battles together.
May we start living our best lives, and may we be relentless in creating them.
May today be different.