Beginning Where You Are

I try to do meditation every morning. Notice I said "I try." That means that even while I know this is a type of self-care that I really need to do, I don't always follow what I know to be "best practices" for myself. I guess that means I am human, huh? One of my favorite meditation teachers is Jeff Warren, on the Calm app. The other day, just when I needed it, the session was on beginning where you are and going on from there. It ended with this quote, which I think is a great way for me to start writing about this meaningful meditation:    
      "The reality of where you are is always more important than where you imagine you should be." 
                            ---- Jeff Warren

Here is this meditation summarized:
Wherever you are, wherever you get to, that's what is real. We need to accept where we are right now, at this moment. It might not be where we want to be, but that is OK. The point is that we need to let go of everything and just let ourselves be. Sometimes we need to not try to get anywhere or make anything happen. We just need to recognize where we are in our journey and move on from there. I'm sure you, like me, have found that sometimes our friends will give us some well-meaning advice. It might be along the lines of, "You need to accept the situation," or "You need to love this part of yourself." Yes, that might be true, because there is definitely value in aiming for love and acceptance, but it's something we need to work up to. It doesn't just show up all at once, much less always stick around when we do find it. And guess what? That is because, believe it or not, we are all humans with limitations. It's up to us to set an intention to begin each new day where we are and then find a way to accept that. It might be a good place or a not so good place, but whichever it is, we need to move forward from there, even if we can only move a little bit. What we need to remember is that any forward movement is progress. We just need to remember that it is important, no, wait, actually it is vital that we allow ourselves to take time and do things in a way that works for us. Which leads us back to the quote we started with: "The reality of where you are is always more important than where you imagine you should be."

As luck would have it, a couple of days ago I found myself in one of those "not so good" places. Three or four times during the course of the day I ran into things that were like being stabbed in the heart with a knife. Things that took me back to the sad, dark first days and weeks of grief where the hurt and the loneliness were so acute that I literally thought I would die myself. And then, while scrolling through my FB feed I came across a quote from one of my favorite authors, Bryan Anthonys. It, like the morning mediation that helped set my day off on a better path, ended my day with this reminder. It's entitled "Go With the Waves."

                  Life is not always going to go as you had planned --- tides change and things 
                  go in different directions.  You can't stop the waves from happening, but you can
                  learn to move with them. They may not take you in the direction that you had planned,
                          but they will take you exactly where you are meant to be.

When I woke up the next morning, having evidently run this thought around in my mind overnight, I wrote these two poems. Then I started where I was and headed to wherever it was I was supposed to be.

                             Doing It All For Love

                   Loving someone means you mortgage your heart
                   and when they die that bill will come due.
             Now Heaven's called you home and I have to pay the price
                      by living my life without you.

                   "Where is this all going?" I think to myself.
                     There are days when I don't have a clue.
                    Yet, despite all of that I know I'll survive
                       even though this is so hard and new.

                   It hasn't been easy and it's certainly not fun.
                      Still, each day I keep doing my best
                   to look to the future, yet cherish the past,
                      move ahead and let God do the rest.   

                                Blessings by the Bushel
                     You were my sunshine on a gray, cloudy day,
                             my shelter from the storm.            
                           The voice of reason in my ear,
                            the arms that kept me warm.

                       I miss your smile, your quirky laugh,
                            that twinkle in your eye.
                  You were the best "Hello" at the start of each day
                        and the hardest and saddest good-bye.

                      I was so lucky, so happy, so blessed
                      to have had the chance to love you.
                     Now I carry your spirit wherever I go
                       guiding me as I start life anew.

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