Points of Light

light bright

light bright (Photo credit: JonathanCohen)

I’m not gonna lie, it’s been a difficult weekend. Of course, weekends have never been my strong suit, but this one has been particularly rough. The past two days have been of the sort that leave you feeling like you need to take an iron to your life–things need to be smoothed over, all the wrinkles pressed out. You have the sense that everything is running in different directions, always slipping through your fingers, impossible to get a hold of or slow down even for a second.

Days like these always make me wish I could somehow shed my skin and try on someone else’s for a while. I’d love to just slough everything off and move on, the way one might step out of a shower feeling refreshed and renewed. But because these things are virtually impossible to do, I instead end up with a frantic, nagging sense that I should be making resolutions, finding ways to change everything, make over my entire life into something better. I’ve wasted much of my day today regretting the things I didn’t do, mentally running through an endless stream of shoulda, woulda, couldas, and beating myself up because of missed opportunities. Countless times I’ve caught myself making plans for the coming week: I’ll go running every day! I’ll do everything according to a strict schedule! I’ll change the way I’m eating! In other words: I’ll make a series of changes that won’t do anything to address any of the underlying issues that are contributing to how I’m feeling, and hold myself to a standard that will probably end up leaving me discouraged.

It wasn’t until I sat down to do yoga this evening that I realized that the weekend is over and I can’t change what did or didn’t happen. The only moment I have any influence over is the one I’m in right now, and I don’t stand to gain anything by worrying about the past or the future. And because that’s far easier said than done, I forced myself to let go of all my negative thoughts and focus instead on the points of light from the past two days (also easier said than done). No matter what happened over the weekend, things did not get so bad that there’s nothing to be grateful for. And to prove it, here’s a list of what I came up with:

  1. Meditation and mindfulness practice
  2. Yoga
  3. A nice conversation with my mom about Buddhist philosophy
  4. A fiancé who continues to love me even when I’m at my most unlovable
  5. Even the smallest gestures of support from friends
  6. Giving myself the time to sit down and write a blog post
  7. This video, in which a fan of the team–a 7-year-old boy with brain cancer–runs 69 yards down the Nebraska football field to score a touchdown during the team’s spring scrimmage game. I defy anyone to watch this video and not feel a bit better about humanity.

 

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