The Fear of a Good Life
It has been about two months since I decided to start this journey to mindfulness. I am surprised by the amazing changes I already see in myself. I recently started reading The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and in it he says, "to know that you are not present is a great success: that knowing is presence..." (p. 60) I have found that simply becoming aware of how rarely I am in the Now has opened my consciousness up to becoming more mindful throughout the day.
I have found it is easier for me to stay mindful if I stay busy. Seems kind of counterintuitive because quiet meditation is frequently associated with mindfulness, but for me staying active with projects puts me more in the Now because I focus all of my attention on whatever I am doing. Tolle discusses how anxiety and stress come from focusing on the future, and grief and guilt come from focusing on the past. I believe my active pursuit to stay mindful is allowing me to be free of my pain. That, surprisingly, is scaring me.
My dad and Jenna are almost always interwoven with my thoughts, but I am recognizing that the amount of time I spend dwelling over them is brief. I will acknowledge that I miss them and that they are essentially the reason behind my activities, such as the blog and clearing the house out because they are not here, but I do not linger over these thoughts like I did even a month ago. That honestly scares me. By becoming more present I feel as if they are becoming less a part of my life.
It has only been 8 months since the accident, so I feel a type of guilt for being as okay as I am. Staying connected to my heartache makes me feel like I am connected to them and honoring what we had. I know they would be over the moon at the progress I have made, but I still feel like I should be in more pain than I am. They were two of the most important and influential people in my life. At one point I really did not know how I would be okay without them, yet now I wake up excited for what the day might bring.
I know deep down I should be thrilled with how far I have come, but I have this fear of possibly forgetting how sacred and rare our relationships were. It has only been 8 months and most days I am completely okay without them! What will it be like in ten years? Thirty years? I want to be tied to my pain because I have this false belief that it ties me to them. I need to accept that they will always be with me, and that my love for them is not linked to the amount of pain I feel. I honor them by living each day with immense joy and love and presence, and harboring pain does not allow me to do that. I understand this, I just need to truly accept it.
I know with every bone in my body that practicing mindfulness and gratitude are why I am okay. It is impossible to feel the hurt of missing them when my full attention is focused on the present moment. On days I am not as present, I feel myself slipping back into old patterns of incessant pain. I do not want (and I know they do not want) my irrational fear of forgetting them to hinder the progress I am making! So I will continue to wake up every morning determined to fill my day with activities that keep me moving forward and feed my soul, and thank God for having the opportunity to live every moment in surrender of what is. That, for me, is overcoming my fear and choosing love.