Living in each moment as grace, fully present in the now, with eyes and heart wide open, requires retraining. Self-coaching to the soul.
A dear friend and I were catching up on each other's lives last night. A rare treat. It didn't take long into speaking and listening to our stories to see a common thread: we're both hungry to learn to live full of joy in each moment we've been given, with what we have. And this, we're also learning, can be a full on wrestling match.
What is that balance, we wondered, between being honest with what we're experiencing - the anxiety, depression, fear, anger, sorrow, you name it - and still seeing the joy?
I shook my head, "Whatever it is, it's not easy." And I thought, maybe it's in the seeing.
Yes, it might be in the seeing. During the work day, it can be easier for me to live in the moment. I'm pushing down what seem like intrusive emotions, putting them up and away on the shelf for later study. I'm coaching myself to stay here, live here, give here. But when I clock out and I slip down into the driver's seat of my car, fasten my seatbelt and point my way toward home, that book on the shelf opens up. Sometimes, it falls off the shelf.
Eyes open, desperate searching, I want to see, I must see. Anything. See the beauty in the ugly. I strain these eyes, grasping at whatever glimmer of glory I can capture. But some days, the eyes brim with tears and the sunglasses go on and I step inside the door of my home, slump to the ground and whisper blurry-eyed prayers.
Where is the beauty in this moment? This weak and crumpled moment. I've been here before, many times before, and struggle beneath the water to break the surface and fill my lungs.
I breathe in, breathe out. In thanks, out thanks. The breaths come slower. I'm aware I'm not alone, held by invisible arms, leaning on Someone I can't see. The thanks come harder, clearer. My heart rests, finally.
Through the blurry eyes, I see grace. I feel grace. I am held. Joy is right beside me, waiting to be touched. In plain view at all times, but not plainly seen.
I'm learning that thanks opens my eyes, and in that opening, I see joy.