“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton
Last night I was out with my kids as they biked, my 5-year-old on her new big bike and my toddler on an old-school Radio Flyer tricycle. I suggested to my daughter that she go all the way around the block on her bike while my son and I worked best on how to make progress on his trike. This was a new freedom for my daughter, riding away from us on the sidewalk and being on her own for a whole block albeit one she knows well because we walk it all the time. She’d done it several times and was exhilarated by the freedom until the time when she came to the long back straightaway and didn’t see us. My son and I had made enough progress to get around the corner. By the time she got to us, my daughter was scared. I soothed her the best I could and we made our way home. I thought all was good until I asked her to clean up something and she grumped at me. It wasn’t until later that I realized she had some carry-over from being scared.
When I sit on my meditation bolster in the morning, I expect to find peace, happiness and clarity. I am always surprised by the occasions that I find instead a lingering disappointment, anxiety or sadness underneath. I frequently think that I can use my optimism and positivity to pave over the feelings I’m less comfortable with but in those quiet moments they let me know they are still there. I am learning over and over again that I have to feel things all the way through. The worry about a friend going through a hard time or the disappointment that I didn’t get a particular project stay insistent that I acknowledge them before I can settle in to my peace.
This reminds me of a story my meditation teacher told me. She was teaching a 6am yoga class on a dark fall morning. People were settling onto their mats and she was walking around the room quietly talking the class through those opening exercises when she noticed someone outside looking into her car. Without thinking she opened the door to the studio and yelled, “Move on, MotherF*&#$r!” This still cracks me up every time she tells the story but also reminds me that what’s going on in me and around me sometimes has to be acknowledged before I can find peace.
Last night after I’d put my toddler to bed and was sitting with my daughter to read books, we finally got to the feeling of being scared and were able to talk it through and put it to bed too. Then it felt done and we were able to find our quiet and rest.