I’m so happy to be returning to your inbox today and even happier to report that I have re-emerged from the tenebrous land of test preparation with a shiny piece of paper that says PASS. How I performed beyond that I won’t know for another 30-60 days, at which point I will already be reinvested in my studies and anticipating my second and final hurdle. Then a whole new journey will begin. But for now, I’ll relax in this moment, enjoying the feeling of relief that comes with this success.
I say relief with a tinge of humility because there were many moments when doubt reigned over hope. Fear over confidence. Even when the test was over, I hesitated before hitting the button to end the exam, feeling safer in the land of unknowing, blissful in ignorance. Then, when I finally gained the courage to accept my fate and saw the word PASS appear on the screen, still disbelief resided where I thought joy would be. I questioned the legitimacy of my accomplishment and was hesitant to celebrate.
I’ve thought a lot about what kept me from fully enjoying that moment. Had the belief in a different outcome rooted itself so deeply in my unconscious mind that I was unable to see the truth right in front of me? I wonder how often I do this in my life. Instead of living in the moment, and enjoying the present, I’m lost navigating the shadows of the past and inventing stories from the future. As I continue on this journey, the simplicity and ease of the present are so apparent. Why does the tendency to fall short of it happen again and again. Why does resistance remain?
Many studies have been done on the human psyche and the tendency toward this habit of living outside the present. Even the most seasoned practitioners are aware of their propensity for this shortcoming. I think it’s important to give ourselves the grace to fail but to remain steady in our awareness. This is mindfulness. I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Sharon Salzberg:
“The healing is in the return, not in never having wandered to begin with.”
When we see the mind start to wander, we come back to the present, and begin again, and again and again and again. It is a practice, just like any other. The gift is our willingness to try.
There is still so much I have to learn about myself and this path, and I’m so appreciative of you and your willingness to share space with me. I hope if you find yourself lost outside of your intended bliss, you will remember that you always have the breath, that constant grounding root to the present. A home-coming. And from there you can once again find the strength to bloom.
Have a beautiful week.
Bye for now!