Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight

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Monday, April 28, 2014

It Is Always Now

Today started out with a crying jag. I like to use the word "jag" because that's how it felt: jagged, sudden, an icicle in my guts. One minute I was okay and the next, my face was doing that thing where it feels like a mean person is pulling at your lips, distorting them, making your nose sting and your eyes well up. And then I was losing it in front of a group of people. Compassionate, loving people who were there to listen; but still, I felt like a jerk for bawling uncontrollably when I was sure they all had much worse problems than mine.

But you know what? They didn't have worse problems than mine; they just had different ones. Pain is relative, and personal, and subjective. I was bawling because I felt alone, and abandoned, and that's what people do sometimes when they feel abandoned: cry like babies and hope someone will hear. But some of the people in that room would have loved to be left alone, for just five minutes--the harried mother, the patient husband taking verbal abuse--they'd have traded places with me in a second. From the depths of your own pain, it can seem like none of the other humans really understand.

They do, though. After a very difficult day at work I came home still feeling isolated and misunderstood, to be greeted by a text from a friend who knew nothing about what I was going through. She just wanted to say hello. And that she loved me. And she sent me this:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=T3JzcCviNDk
 
It turns out that I can do "now." I can't do the past again and the future, honestly, doesn't look all that great. But Now, well, it's just me on the couch with a headache and some fresh tears and a little bit of hope. It's not comfortable, but it's doable. It's just a moment. I'm breathing into this moment--and this one--and this one. I still have to deal with tomorrow, but not Now. Now is filled with its own beauty, its own ache, it is filled with the love of a friend and the peaceful sleep of my dog at my feet. And I find that if I give thanks, then something out there--or in here--returns that gratitude with a quiet nod. It's enough for Now.







3 comments:

  1. Lovely observations of true feelings, KB. We love you from here too!

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    1. Thank you Liz. ;-) So good to hear from you! xo

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  2. This is so raw & beautiful! Thank you for sharing the human experience so vividly and eloquently. Yes, we can feel so alone in our pain and then in a moment remember that we are not. Even within all the pain and discomfort and tears, we remember to just stay here. We can feel deeply and know what it is to be human. In the midst of even pain, we can remember "the love of a friend and the peaceful sleep of my dog at my feet." I can absolutely relate to this. Lots of love!

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