I’m learning that life is a constant push and pull. Sometimes I feel like as much as I’m celebrating different joys, I’m also mourning things I have no choice but to say goodbye to. I’m learning that I seem to be in a constant state of needing more, searching for more, desiring more, and yet I’m also learning that once I possess whatever “more” is, it doesn’t mean I have made it and am now more of a person than I was before. I’m learning that the very state I am in, right now at this very second, is the state I may be in for the rest of my life. When you climb a mountain and reach the top, you don’t stop there. You hike back down and find a new mountain to hike up. It’s important to celebrate the top, but it’s also important to recognize the significance of everything happening on the way up. We are allowed to be happy in the in between.
This is not celebrated in our culture.
What’s celebrated is the “you did it!” part. The I got the job!, or the I graduated!, the we’re getting married!, or the I’m having a baby! part. But how many times do we get the job or the degree and then wonder, now what? Sometimes we land the dream job and realize it’s nothing like what we thought, and suddenly it feels like we are failing again. I know I’ve felt this way, and the more people I talk to, the more I realize others feel the same way. I don't think it's that we are actually living in a constant state of dissatisfaction, I think it's that we are putting too much weight into the moments that are indeed exciting, but don't make the rest of our life.
We don’t celebrate the push and the pull. We think the joys are good and the mournings are bad. Really, joy and mourning are two nouns that represent opposite ends of a spectrum, neither of which are good or bad, both of which are simply feelings.
We have to be okay with the push and pull. We have to accept that we don’t “make it” during the joys and we don’t “fail” when we’re in mourning. We are experiencing life and the inconsistency it brings. And that’s okay. It’s okay to be happy. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to want more. Just as long as we can stop and appreciate the current state we are in. Because it’s the in between moments where we are doing the hardest work. It’s the in between moments where we are learning the most. It’s the in between moments that represent what life is really like, what life is really going to be like.
Life is about acceptance. Life is about letting go. When we learn to let go, to accept the things we mourn, we empty this big hole in our heart that now has enough space in it to embrace joy again.