Monday, August 19, 2013

Being in Two (or More) Places at Once

I can't be in two places at one time.  Right?  We have all used this phrase to share frustration or disappointment when life events conflict, family obligations coincide with something we really want to do or distance prevents us from attending an event far away when we need to be close to home.

But what about spiritually?   In the course of a day, I am happy, sad, fulfilled, empty, energized, burnt out, and (fill in the blank).   And then feelings get all mixed up and my mind and heart race to try to make sense of the conflicting emotions.  Best example is feeling two emotions so deeply that I physically react to both - laughing while I am crying or crying while I'm laughing.  After my father passed away, I had never experienced sadness like it before.   Several times I noticed that in this most vulnerable state, other emotions are equally heightened.  As community members came to our shiva, I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  Witnessing sincere loving kindness and comfort led me to a more spiritual place.  As my friends cared for me, our conversations had to be truthful because I found that in this new spirituality, I could not fake it.  At the shiva, we shared wonderful stories about my dad, some about his childhood, and some funny stories about when I was a kid.  With each giggle, came a tear of sorrow.  With every genuine smile evoked from memory, came tears of loss.

It is unavoidable.  Our life is very busy and if we want to stay present then we must be aware of all the emotions that can be evoked from a single interaction.  So, all of of the following are some conflicting emotions that I have experienced at the same time.

  • During an argument with my husband, he can still make me laugh. 
  • Sometimes when I am afraid, I find my greatest courage.
  • I can feel alone in a crowded room.
  • I can feel fully loved and connected even when I am alone.
Meditation offers clarity, authenticity and the process to help navigate my spiritual journey.  Awareness allows me to be thoughtful and kind to myself in the search for truth.  My commitment to learning gives me the opportunity to review and take an account of my efforts.  By doing so, I am deepening my own power of prayer and am in a more meaningful spiritual place (or places).

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