So, the wonderful thing about life is that some days you are down, but inevitably, eventually, you will be up again. Up, up, up. You can count on it. There will come a day when you can breathe and smile and laugh. It may only last for a day, but that one day can be just what you needed to keep going on whatever path you journey along.
Or maybe, maybe, it is just a moment. A moment that comes when you finally take a deep breath and realize you have been holding your breath for way too long.
For me, this moment came one night this past week while I was lying in bed reading the same book I have been reading for three months, Eat, Pray, Love. For some reason, I cannot get through this book. Actually, I know the reason. I like to learn from the books I read - that is why I rarely read fiction. I like to read about the life lessons other people have learned and hear their true stories of sacrifice and success. The problem with this book is that it is so full of things that are important to me or that I want to learn about (things like karma, yoga, meditation, spirituality, finding one's true self, faith), but I rarely have the mental capacity at the end of the night to absorb any of it. Therefore, I don't read out of my fear of missing something. I watch TV and the book collects dust on my nightstand.
After three long months, I am almost to the end. And one night last week, I read an excerpt from the book that was just what I needed to hear:
"Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, ...You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it,..."
Now, these are things I already knew. However, knowing and accepting are two different things. For the first time, I accepted it. I accepted that I am the creator of my own happiness and no other being, living, dead, or heavenly, is going to do it for me. And that night, instead of praying for a job, or more money, or more friends, or a strong sense of my purpose, I prayed to remember this statement. Always. And to be reminded of it constantly lest I forget in a moment of self-pity.
I know this doesn't mean I won't have moments or days of struggle and feelings of hopelessness. But, perhaps now when I do, this statement will miraculously appear in my consciousness. And miraculously, I will have the courage and energy to put it to good use.
And if not, there is always Rocky Road ice cream. With M&Ms mixed in. On top of a brownie.