Joy and Pain

Today is my oldest child’s last day of high school.

I still remember her first day of kindergarten. I cried all day.

I remember telling my husband, “well, she’s as good as gone. She will leave me every day until she graduates from high school.”

I just didn’t know it would happen so fast. I mean people told me it would, but, WOW.

I once heard it said, when you decide to become a mother, you decide to let your heart beat outside of your own body. No truer words have ever been spoken.

My heart is beating with excitement for her and breaking with sorrow for me.

Experiencing both of these emotinos, excitement and sorrow, reminds me how human I am.

It reminds me, that as much as I don’t like to feel sorrow, I need to feel sorrow in order to have experienced all the joy she has brought to my life.

I have found myself trying to repress any thoughts that may bring on a feeling of sorrow for me as we have approached this “end” of high school. I have gotten very good at turning away from anything that could make me feel sad. There are so many “lasts”.

But it dawned on me this week that I really needed to allow myself to feel this sorrow. I needed to allow myself to expereicne this pain. i don’t need to suffer, but I do actually want to feel the pain because it reminds me of why I feel the pain: because I love so deeply. And that deep love feels so good.

Learning to love like that is exactly why I am here on this earth. And, on the flip side, experiencing pain is exactly why I am here. I need both. I need not be in such a hurry to turn away from pain.

Why? Because I want the full human experience. I want to experience it all. This life is 50/50, my friends. Fifty percent of the time we will feel good and fifty percent of the time it won’t feel so good. We can either embrace that or spend our lives fighting against it.

It is fighting against the “not so good” times that will cause us problems. That is when the sorrow evolves into despair and depression (I’m not talking clinical depression here) and maybe anxiety and shame.

When we don’t allow ourselves to feel an emotion, like sorrow, when we just try and push it away, it eventually comes back with a vengeance. Repressing an emotion is not feeling an emotion. When we feel an emotion, we actually sit with it and let it be.

Today I am going to allow myself to experience some sorrow and sadness and I am going to relish in my love.

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