INSTRUCTIONS ON NOT GIVING UP
I had never read this poem until a few days ago and it moved me so much. I’m not there yet, ready to say I’ll take it all, but I’m trying to be. Grieving a loss is never as quick as I wish it could be, and that’s also part of the loss…getting the wind knocked out of you, getting stopped in your tracks, losing your momentum, losing your faith…one has to come to acceptance not only of the loss itself but of the time that is lost in grieving the loss.
If this were an occasional part of life, I might feel more tolerance for it, but my entire life has felt like a long series of losses and failures. Just as I regain my footing, another one comes. I struggle to write that without it sounding like a pity-party but it’s the truth of how I feel. Part of the grief I have to navigate, every time, is the feeling of never being able to find stable ground. It’s tough to confront that feeling without it seeming, after a while, to be an indicator that I just don’t know how to do this Life thing. But I’m still here, for some reason, so how am I going to keep going?
I do believe that the quality of the energy I send out has something to do with it. If I’ve spent most of my life feeling like most everything I try fails and most everything I offer is rejected, it’s hard to channel a different kind of energy. That’s enough of a challenge to last me the rest of the my life, probably. But I also believe that we have to be where we are, now.
This week I’ve been dog-sitting out at a house in the middle of the woods. Every day I walk the dog on a pine needle-strewn path through the trees, and something about it gave me permission to just acknowledge that I am really fucking sad right now, and have been for a while. I’ve been doing everything I can to move out of this place but I needed to stop for a minute and realize that it’s not going to happen fast. Taking the pressure off myself to bounce back by a certain time actually made me feel better. I need to stay out of wallowing-mode but allowing myself to be where I am also enabled some kind of spaciousness to happen as well.
Spring is coming, slowly, and we know that the season always brings new life, fresh growth, and the promise of another chance. Unlike nature, though, I don’t know what that looks like for myself. Sometimes I don’t even believe in possibility at all. So I will do my best, from where I am, to just rest with an open palm.