Recently I had cause, and pause, to think on how things are and how I feel after the facts; how I notice what was what and then what arose from those facts. Fact was I had a notwell thing, the details of which are quite irrelevant, and it lasted one day. However, the hit of it was like a sandstorm in the desert, or a tropical raincrash in Africa or even, if I look at it as a thing of change and possible loveliness, the birthing of the Monarch butterflies. The timing is the same. It stopped me in my tracks. It levelled me, decided for me, flawed me. All this is good, I tell myself whilst in the thick and the thin of it. It will ‘pass’ and I will not.
However, in this thick and this thin, it is sometimes tricky to see so sensibly. It is all ooh and ow and oh dear and will this take me out kind of nonsense. The day was slow and difficult, the dog un-walked. The only reassuring consistent was the rain, for which I was grateful. If there is a constant to hang onto whilst riding a roller coaster, or when crossing an ocean that refuses to stay flat no matter how loud the pleas, I recommend holding on to it. Later in the day, one that felt as long as a trip to Mars in a balloon, I thinked. I could just say, well I had this thing and now it is gone and I am thankful beyond measure. Or, I could notice the slow rise of my strong goodly health into her rightful place and I could communicate with her. Where did you go my lady? I went down, she replies, and you came with me. Oh, I know that, for sure, I might snap. She smiles kindly. We are sometimes caught by storms, she says. Some storms are stronger than us, but know this; they are short sprinters, not long distance runners, as we are.
I find that reassuring. Now to the next bit. In the re-tell of my crashbang day, I could major on the superlatives. A horrendous day; So much pain; I thought I was going to die. Or I could pish-posh that melodrama and notice how I feel today, this day, the day after the facts. Facts will always come in, will always stun us like a tropical storm, soak us, fry us, fell us. Are we always to be at the whim of the facts, or might we learn how to accept them as they come, welcome or not, and then to notice ourselves within those difficult times, however long or short they are, and, as the shock of them dwindles like a fire without wood, to see ourselves rise up again, thankful and somehow stronger?
Well, how-in-the-hec am I stronger ps and btw? Well, says I, it is all in the eye of the observer. To notice thoughts and feelings, no matter what facts come stomping in like an army of boots and weapons and ghastly days, I will rise from the whatever and into new light, the light of learning, the learning about me, about my resilient strength and ability to accept and to move on, empowered, bizarrely by the facts that sought to bring me down. And this is not just me. Every single soul can do this. I am tired of hearing about awful days, bad years and terrible this and that. Once the facts are broken down, it was nothing so bad. Sob stories make me want to ask So what now? That happened last week, last month, 10 years ago, 20. What are you doing to alter the facts?
It does not mean that I don’t appreciate grief and loss and stories of abuse, neglect and desolation. I really do, but I have met too many people who have survived appalling things and who have decided to rebuild their lives and it changes my thinking. I see one woman, one child, one man, one tribe, one nation, one religious sect who still keep their faith in the light of life, and it alters my thinking. If we are to live life to the full we need to notice and pay attention, not to the facts, beyond being ready for the ‘sudden’, but to the beyond of them, the beyond in which we can relocate our own strength, a strength we may not even know we are brewing.