Yesterday I was volunteering at my kid’s school library. The main job is to shelve books then go back and tidy up the shelves. There is something so soothing about about shelving books. Each one has a specific place where it goes. Fiction is alphabetical so my head is singing the ABC’s as my eyes scan the spines. It’s all so orderly. Wouldn’t it be lovely if everything was so orderly?
After all the books were tidied and I checked in with the librarian to see if he had any other special projects I left, feeling calm and centered. Off I went into the cold sunny day to run the errands that a lot of stay at home moms run while the husband is at work and the kids are at school. Normal. Ordinary. Orderly.
Home Depot is my first stop. I grab a cart and roll over to the holiday section to pick up a couple more strings of lights, when the familiar guitar riff of “Jingle Bell Rock” falls on my head like mud. It’s dripping sticky tar all over me. The Ghost of Christmas Past starts playing movies from before Ellen died. She had this annoying Santa Claus toy that would sing that blasted song and dance. My young son and his young cousin would dance around with it. And play it. over. and over. and over. The movie of two children dancing with abandon and laughing playing over and over and over. Grief, unbeckoned, unwanted, un-everything is clogging up my throat and blurring my vision. Oh for the love of Mike, now?? In the middle of the stupid Home Depot? What the h*&$, man?
So very disorderly.
That’s the way it is, though. Life is disorderly and chaotic. It’s messy and painful and wonderful and magnificent. It’s boring and mundane and it’s stupid and ridiculous. It’s all of the things. So what to do?
Accept the whole kit and caboodle as it is – in all its inane and beatific ways. Resisting the grief in the Home Depot caused more pain. “I shouldn’t feel this way, it’s the holidays, she’s been dead for two years, why now? I should be full of holiday cheer. What’s wrong with me?” Nothing. Nothing is is wrong with me, or any of us. It’s ok to feel grief or anger or whatever. Just because it’s not holiday cheer doesn’t make it wrong. It’s all ok.
Just for Today
I’m going to simply let it be. Whatever emotion surrounding the holidays or just regular daily life, I will allow and accept. I will remember that it’s the resistance to these emotions that causes me more pain than the pain itself. I will fearlessly accept my grief, sorrow or any other emotion, knowing that it will eventually pass. I will not however, allow self pity to form an isolating mote around me.
God, grant me peace. Give me the courage to accept the disorder of my emotional life. Help me to follow these emotions to the end. And heal my heart.
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