The New Normal
At the time I posted, "Age Truths", in the Spring section of SeasonedSenses a few weeks ago, I was sadly aware that this post would be close to follow and I would be challenged to heed my own advice. My personal "Age Truths" could easily double as my "Change Truths", as most of my most valued life lessons revolve around embracing the dualities and conflict that exist in our lives. Realizing the loss of my father last week, I have found myself facing Lesson Number One of my personal Life Truths: Life's Truth is a Paradox.
Death has proven to be a blunt reminder that life is filled with equal parts joy and catastrophe. It can be freeing and forgiving and beautifully complete, as much as it can be painful, tragic and confusing. I am now finding myself in unfamiliar emotional territory, to which I have been called upon to manage a level of grief not previously experienced before. I was not (and am still not) entirely certain what is going to surface, when it will surface, or how. It was a complicated relationship. What I do know to be true, regardless of circumstance, is that this is a major life change and with all change comes a "New Normal".
I feel as though I have an army of emotions lobbying to gain control of what my New Normal should look like. The loudest of them, naturally, being the entitled rage and pity that convincingly condone overindulgence and otherwise poor decision making. They have been enormous assholes. I've found myself in peaceful closure one minute to pondering whether freestyle screaming is a "thing". Thankfully, I gave myself permission to forgive myself right from the get-go. Not permission to act however I wish in a reckless tornado of self-pity, but rather permission to experience the emotions that I'd previously stifled and forgiveness for allowing them to enter after all these years. Grief. Injustice. Anger. Also, permission and forgiveness that I won't be perfect. I have placed complete trust in my being that what is to surface will be intentional, welcome, genuine, and not at all threatening.
While this might be a taboo thing to say in time of loss, I still invite happiness in my life. It is my choice to choose it or not, and I believe it to be vital. From this life event also emerged the unexpected: clarity, bravery, and communication. It has been a welcome surprise, so beautiful and so incredibly healing. I will not slight it. Inviting peace and joy as comfort in a time of conflict balances the dualities of life. It opens a door to a promising New Normal; an opportunity to reflect, review, and revise your current narrative into an even better one. It serves as a light for progress through the dark. For me, this has consisted of working within and consulting my Age Truths: forgiveness, accountability, embracing discomfort, disconnecting, opting outside to connect with nature, allowing change, trusting myself, and resting...a lot. Yogic breathing has become a new hobby. No shit. Choosing happiness has reminded me to be grateful towards the universe that supports me, even when it isn't completely evident.
It has proven a delicate and also exhausting exercise to not confuse rest with resistance, privacy with reclusivity, forgiveness with overindulgence, or control with denial. I also am aware that I will have several drafts ahead of me before I finalize my New Normal. That is entirely okay. I am grateful that I am asking myself to be so mindful of my intentions and my needs.
I realized very early into the New Year that this year would be a year of perseverance. Nothing has come easy for me this year, from painting my master bedroom THREE TIMES until I got the right shade of "mustard gold", to creating this website. This new life will certainly be no exception. Even so, the lesson this year has been loud and clear. It is perseverance and man, do I thankfully have a lot of that. Keep chip, chip, chipping away, and you get to where you want to be. So, I invite my New Normal to unfold, chipping away and persevering, healing, reminding myself to enjoy the ride, and putting my shiny new skill sets to spectacular use.