How can we enjoy life… when we’re recovering from a loss, a mess, a health crisis… can we recover and enjoy life?
Can you start fresh without carrying a big black bag that’s really heavy?
The last few years of life have been at times… unfathomable, strange, heartbreaking, and hard to wrap your mind around.
But, let’s not focus on that right now.
Instead, let’s bring in the tried and true anecdote to when life goes south… the high-vibe thought: It can always be worse.
Would you enjoy life… when it’s bad?
Would you enjoy life if, even though things are going badly…
If this was your LAST year of life?
Or, would you enjoy life… if this was your last week?
Maybe you’d jump in your car and drive until you hit water…
And dive in and swim to the nearest island and meet an islander and drink rum.
Or you’d serial watch your favorite guilty pleasure while wolfing down buttery popcorn and dark chocolate.
Or you’d simply sit in inner peace and watch people walk by your front door.
One after another, strolling by, getting their kids out of the house … or themselves.
You’d want to take IT ALL IN.
Maybe you’d want to feed your soul.
The truth is, you want to enjoy your own life and live in the moment. We desire to be in love, be healthy, enjoy our work and children, travel…
Enjoying the simple pleasures …
Live in the moment, when it sucks?
But, life doesn’t always go so smoothly.
Each of us can list a number of things that have happened in our lives that have caused us to ask: What the heck?
And I mean … seriously, what the heck?
However, we can decide to live in the moment anyway.
There will be bad days and bad moments.
Maybe even many.
We will be stuck at times.
And yet, there are soulful things to enjoy.
But, it can always be worse
Even when life is at its worst… it can always be worse.
Even in smoke-filled parts of the world where you can barely leave the house because the air is filled with soot … on top of a worldwide virus. (I wrote this during fire season in California…)
But, I digress.
We can live in the moment, most of it, some of it, for just a few minutes.
And to underline Mary Oliver’s final line at the end of her remarkable poem, The Summer Day:
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do, with your one wild and precious life?” ~ Mary Oliver, The Summer Day
The Summer Day, by Mary Oliver
When life is particularly hard, I turn to Mary Oliver. She seems to always have the right words and new questions to ask to help me regroup.
Here is The Summer Day by Mary Oliver:
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
What will you do with your precious life?
Mary asks the question simply.
And what an empowering question.
What will I do?
With all of the things that have happened, now what?
Maybe we don’t need to have the answers right away, but instead, we can stay with the question.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do…with your one wild and precious life?
As a creative being, you get to choose. And the only moment is the one you’re in.
Sometimes the choices are really hard and we don’t want to make them.
However, as we remind ourselves of the HUGE role we play in our lives, regardless of the difficult circumstances, somehow it frees us up.
Somehow it reinforces that we are the masters of our own destinies.
Sometimes life is so hard we hardly make it through the day.
Yet, in these times, can we still find an oasis of joy? Of peace?
Yes, we can… because it could be worse.