I saw this tweet last night and it made me laugh. It summed up so wonderfully this past week, and really, the more I thought about it, the last 7 years. A kidney stone! Yes.
Hard. Painful. Perfect.
It’s the again-ness of life that is so hard. It’s the same stuff over and over and over and over again, until you think you can’t stand to go through it one more minute. You do, of course, because this is life and for better or worse, this is all there is. And the kidney stones?
That’s what it’s all about.
When all is said and done, moving forward gracefully, freely, and authentically in life requires the pain of letting go that which no longer serves us, even though it’s excruciatingly painful and it seems to take forever sometimes.
The past week has very nearly done me in. Personal health issues, my mother’s bottomless pit of health problems, work challenges, and the weather all gave me a run for my money this week, and I’m a little worse for wear.
The proverbial stone hasn’t passed yet, though. It’s still in there grinding away at my insides. Nothing has passed except time, nothing has changed. All the same old stuff just goes on and on… Five years until retirement. Who knows how long my mother will hang on, or how long the cold and wind will persist in the glacial Spring awakening this year.
I keep reminding myself that nothing lasts forever, that all is well in this moment, even when it isn’t, and that there is more to life than the crap. It’s hard to see, especially when the again-ness is what is most evident lately. The hits just keep on coming, and I take them all and keep going.
I worry that there will be a point at which I can’t keep going. I worry about what would happen to my mom if I became unable to care for her, and the cats. I feel sad about the idea that I might never live in my little house again, or that I might never know what it’s like not to have to work so hard all the time.
I have been grasping the ledge all week, barely hanging on, hoping to pull myself up and find my footing again. I’ve been looking for and clutching the handholds – friends, books, sunshine, hockey (Steve Yzerman is coming back to Detroit!), online connections, music – and still this morning, I’m grasping for hope.
This difficult week – this kidney stone – is passing. There will be more stones, though – difficult days, difficult weeks, difficult years. That’s life. It’s hard. Everything seems to happen over and over, again and again.
Each passing takes something from me and leaves a void. I have to really talk fast to the idealist in me, who is very, very discouraged – to keep her going, to convince her not to give into cynicism or hopelessness. To convince her to let go of her idea about the way things should be, and to find the joy and reason for hope in what is.
It ain’t easy, let me tell you. Honestly, I’m tired of the pain and the again-ness. I’m ready for freedom and fun and all the good things that I sort of envision as just outside the field of possibility right now. I feel certain that I’ve mastered pain and that I’m due something else.
I know that’s not how it works. When I’m in my right mind I know that life is less about being happy and more about being of use. If I’m thinking clearly, I know that I am just fine, and it is just the story my ego has made up about my poor beleaguered self and how bad she has it that is making me believe anything other than the truth of my fundamental well-being.
So I guess that stone is on its way out. There will be another and another after that. Sooner rather than later, I’m sure. Each one provides me with an opportunity to let go of something else I no longer need, and in that light, I should be looking forward to the pain.
Not quite there, yet. But further along than I was, so that’s good enough.
If you celebrate – Happy Easter! Here’s to the resurrection of us all.