I have been experiencing this sensation lately where I feel continuously pulled between conflicting emotions. For someone who is pretty decisive, that can be incredibly frustrating. I imagine it's just as frustrating if you are the indecisive type too. There's been a lot happening in my world, and what happens in my world invariably impacts my heart. Just as I was feeling particularly fragile earlier today, a friend shared this beautiful quote that resonated with me so deeply:
God turns you from one feeling to another
And teaches you by means of opposites
So that you will have two wings to fly,
Not one. - Rumi
Thank you, Rumi, for casting a light of clarity on a seeming conundrum. I was really starting to struggle a bit with all the opposites that I'd been feeling, but struggle is always only a self-created construct. All I needed to do was create another attitude toward this sensation in order to experience it differently. This doesn't change the conflicting feelings nor does it materially change any outward circumstance. But it does have the ability to change the impact on my heart, and that means everything.
For a little more than a month now, between the end of a very meaningful romance and the beginning of a very challenging chapter with my mom, I have felt simultaneously more alone than ever, all while being touched to my core by the love and support showered on me from so many sources. I have stood in a room full of friends and literally felt as isolated as if I were standing alone on a cliff over the deepest ocean. I have been going about my day feeling happy, strong and focused, only to be randomly seized by this lonely, sad vice that snatches me out of nowhere. How can this be, I've asked? When the pain of loneliness strikes, immediately my higher consciousness kicks in with the reminder that I am so blessed to have an incredible support system, the most amazing "framily" who show up for me in such beautiful and at times unexpected ways. So how could I be so ungrateful as to wallow in loneliness, if even for fleeting moments? Then I delve deeper, and I ask why should I invalidate any of my feelings? Rather than dismissing them or judging myself for them, this is a time to explore, to get curious, to really understand what is prompting all of these seemingly disparate emotions.
In a gift from the Divine, Rumi comes along and sums it all up for me. Just as we need dark to appreciate light, pain to appreciate pleasure, lack to appreciate abundance, we need to feel conflicting emotions to fully appreciate the whole of our human experience. In so doing we can spread two equally strong, steady, graceful wings to fly with. Any imbalance between those two wings, and we fall. It is just that simple.