Yes, it helped me reset.
Yes, I feel better.
It was not the best vacation I’ve ever had, and I was exhausted by the end of each day, but it was not the worst either. It was more like a series of mishaps and plans gone awry, an obstacle course of sorts, interwoven with delightful moments and experiences to treasure.
I may be taking a personal vacation to regroup and recover in the not too distant future. But I came home with renewed energy and enthusiasm for doing the things I can do right now.
I had a big (fairly painful) insight in the week before I left that has been reinforced and is sticking with me. It’s one of those “ yes, I already knew that but apparently I have to learn it over and over again” lessons. Are you ready?
I’ve realized that I’m really pissed off at the universe for the pandemic and all the ways it’s messed up my life. Sooo many ways. I tend to feel like I’m ok, we’re ok, and for sure, we’re surviving. But I’m just now realizing how angry I am about being caught up in this dystopian story.
So deep inside somewhere, I’m kicking and screaming cause it shouldn’t be like this and I can’t fix it!!! And I can’t completely adapt to it – because it’s not ok. It just isn’t. And then finally, I remember. I used to have a therapist, we’ll call him JM the Wise, who would occasionally say something like this:
“You know, the gods don’t care if you have a car or a house. Really, the gods don’t care if you starve. They’re interested in soul work, are you doing things that grow your soul?”
And remembering that made me laugh, because if there were ever a time to grow our souls, now is it. The ground is fertile. As Thomas Moore says:
“Disappointments in love, even betrayals and losses, serve the soul at the very moment they seem in life to be tragedies. The soul is partly in time and partly in eternity. We might remember the part that resides in eternity when we feel despair over the part that is in life.”
― Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul: A Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness in Everyday Life
That doesn’t make it feel any better. But – here’s the thing – there is no rule that says my life is supposed to be “better.” Or pleasant. Or comfortable. Nowhere in the universe does the rule “Olivia should have a pleasant, comfortable, satisfying life,” exist. Like the Buddhists might tell you, it is my attachment to the idea that my life is supposed to be comfortable that causes my suffering.
Having absorbed that lesson, (for the moment, I’m sure I’ll forget again), I’m better able to appreciate the things I do have and enjoy the moment. Also working on moving forward my life in the ways that are available to me right now without getting lost in what I hoped for or what I wanted.