Even though on the surface, and in most of my inner thoughts, I am happy, satisfied, content with a majority of the way my life is, there is a small, deep, well-like part of me hidden away that is so terribly sad about certain things. It's like my life exists in a lush meadow of blessings... gorgeous, fragrant, pleasant flowers under a bright blue sky... yet hidden away deep in a darkened grove of trees at the edge of the meadow is a well. A narrow, black hole that is so deep you can't see the bottom of it. And like a black hole, there is a draw. If you get too close, you might not escape. When I'm dancing in my meadow, I don't see the well. I know it's there, though. I see the dark little forest and know the hole is there.
Part of me is so deeply, intensely sad and sorrowful about the struggles my children are going through. That part has seemed this week to get bigger, or closer, or more intense. I dance more slowly. I begin to walk, instead. I slowly edge closer to the trees and can almost feel the deepness of the well. I drop to my knees and command myself to be still, if only to keep myself from getting any closer.
It hurts, seeing your child hurt. It aches to the core to know you cannot fix it. The importance of a scale or a pants size melts into nothing and all that you can see and feel is this one thing. It takes everything in me to tear my mind away from that one thing and remember to take care of me, as well. But I do it. I tell myself to be strong, that I am no help to anybody if I am not okay, and that it would do me no good to crumple back into old, bad habits in order to cope.
From my quiet kneeling I can see the grove that holds the well. I can feel it; it has no end. But I can also choose to see the flowers and the sky. I can choose to rise and return to the sunlight. It is no crime not to live in sadness when sad things are around you. It doesn't have to consume you. You don't have to walk closer and fall into the well. It is okay to have some happiness, some success, some peace even when there is cause for grief. I can still walk in my meadow... even dance in it... while I hurt. I can let my tears water the meadow instead of wasting them in the well. And so I will.
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