Friday, February 11, 2011

Thirty and feeling reflective. . .

So today I turn 30. For me, this is a great thing, a welcome transition from one life stage into the next, and, as with any transition, an opportunity for reflection. I’ve been eagerly anticipating this birthday, excited to leave my 20’s behind (30’s sound more adult, which has always been my thing) and to celebrate (I’m always up for plenty of that), feeling deep inside that there are big and wonderful things in store. I don’t know what those things may be, and I’m pretty sure that they won’t all come wrapped up in pretty bows, but that’s just life and I’m excited for it all.

And speaking of life, during this past week, life has afforded me the chance to have one seriously condensed experience of the human condition inside the span of just a few days. My world was touched by birth and by death, love beginning, ending and being redefined, falls from grace and beautiful redemption, acts of deception and of loyalty, tremendous joy and tremendous pain. It is with great reverence for each of these experiences that I sit here and reflect, in gratitude and in awe, on the close of my 20’s and the start of my 30’s, on this life that I am so blessed to live and on the incredible souls journeying through it with me.

What has me most in awe at this moment, as I sit on the beach, soaking up the sun, having spent my day thus far meditating, practicing yoga, getting a massage, being showered in love and all around enjoying the heck out of turning 30, is just how quickly it all can change. We humans are capable of so many varied emotions, and very often they rise up, fast and furious, completely changing the panorama in the blink of an eye. My phone could ring right now with the most devastating news I could imagine, and just as sure as I’m sitting here feeling all blissed-out and happy, my joy would instantly fade away so that grief, despair, fear or whatever emotions were appropriate in response to that hypothetic call could take their place. I certainly don’t walk around expecting anything like that to happen, and I’d venture to say that most of you are with me there; however, it doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t.

This happened to one of the people I love the most very recently. From one moment to the next, vacations and celebrations were being planned, joy and excitement were in the air, and then death, pain and grieving took their place. I was devastated just bearing witness to my treasured friend’s suffering, so I can only imagine how she felt. So I did the only thing I could, which was to hold a space of love and light while the dark cloud of hurt hovered. This phenomenon of emotions rapidly shifting goes both ways, however. While death touched one friend’s world, new life touched another. The strain and worry of a drawn out, complicated labor were instantly replaced by the unparalleled joy of the birth of a healthy, beautiful baby. Light illuminates dark.

We are privileged to have a human birth, privileged to experience the human condition, privileged to feel this amazing array of feelings that each of us possesses. While some of us may be more connected to those emotions than others, be assured that they exist within us all. I say feel them to the fullest. Explore them to their edge. Savor them and share them. You never know when your next opportunity to love with wild abandon will be, so do it while you have the chance. You never know when the next time to grieve will come, so experience it, release and heal through it while it is in your life. If you yourself have a fall from grace, don’t judge yourself harshly. Instead, be honest with yourself and learn from your mistakes so that you don’t repeat them, which would only lead to hurting others and yourself in the process. If you realize that there are relationships in your life that have run their course and no longer make you feel good, let them go. If there are relationships that you feel are worth nurturing and tending to with greater care, what are you waiting for?!? Our emotions are our guides. If we allow ourselves to experience them fully and listen to the lessons they contain, they will lead us toward our highest good.

Here’s to trusting our hearts and our inner voices. Here’s to feeling our feelings fully. Here’s to my 30’s. Here’s to all of you. Cheers!

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