I woke up this morning feeling like a train wreck. (Recovering from surgery to my shoulder). Aching everywhere from trying to will my body into comfortable positions last night, adjusting pillows and blankets because there is about a quarter of an inch difference between comfort and pain.
About a quarter inch difference between comfort and pain…
Much like my heart.
I spent the last few days a quarter inch away from extreme pain or extreme joy. Shifting between the two with about as much warning as I get at night when that carefully positioned pillow moves out of place.
I was intentional about positioning my heart to welcome the “all is calm, all is bright” moments of the season. I willfully chose joy and celebration. I held fast to traditions that allowed me to feel somewhat anchored on these tumultuous waters of grief.
I had everything in place, but over and over as I tossed and turned, trying to make my way along this Silent Night, Holy Night journey, my safe wedges of comfort got jolted out of position.
The unexpected, searing pain would take my breath away. The tears would fall and my heart would ache. And I had to feel it all.
There is a deep ache that comes when you start mindfully exercising your heart, choosing to fully wrap your body, mind and spirit around joy and peace and happiness.
It is work.
A work you choose to do because to stay in the place of debilitating pain forever would kill you. I don’t want to live with a frozen heart any more than I want to live with a frozen shoulder.
So I’ll take the sudden pain, the deep heart wretching ache, because it reminds me that I am healing and stretching and growing. It reminds me that love is present.
And I’ll adjust the pillows and position my heart again, settling into all that is calm and bright. After all it is the calm and bright moments that anchor me to love. They anchor me to the spirit of my son, just as they anchor me to my own spirit.
And when it is not… calm and bright, I remind myself to breathe and trust the moment of pain to do its work