What makes me feel alive?
There are many things that contribute to a feeling of aliveness, er being alive.
On the joyous front there are things like;
- Seeing my son make progress as a human, his coming to realizations and making connections, getting excited about being a life-long learner
- Intellectual conversations with people who question things
- The loud silence in my house following a party or event where people had fun
- laughter and delight in and/or with my surroundings
Then there are those things from the darker side that remind me I am alive;
- pain from my cancer surgery incision site
- fear, any kind really
- being betrayed by people I care about
- being accused of things I have not done
Being alive – for most of my life I would have associated being or feeling “Alive” with that which was hedonistic and joyful… but life is not like that, it is so much more complex. It is as filled with pain and heartache as it is with happiness and joy.
Coming to this conclusion in my 40’s is interesting… in part because when I reflect on the forty some years before I came to this place that recognizes the dark and painful as equally beautiful and the light and joyous is still only filled with light and joy. I think that while I loved my life to this point it had its moments and I wonder where they are at and how come I can’t translate them now that I have had this shift in perspective… where is the ability to realize that the shitty things that happened in my life prior to now are just that… but the truth is that when I think of them, those dark and ugly situations in my life I can’t think of them as dark in terms of then… just in terms of now.
I am in awe at this, that my childhood and young adult life is still filled with joyous wonder and is covered in that pretty light that shines on things that have a sense of perfection… in spite of my new ability to bear witness to the awful, ugly and dark things that happen to humans and yet still be able to embrace them like gifts. That the recollections of the horrid and evil situations of my childhood are not able to influence this feeling…
this is so hard to put into words.
I can’t believe that I still consider myself to have had a light and beautiful childhood, one that is unmarred by things like my parents ugly divorce and being taken advantage of by someone.
In my life now, I would experience these things much differently.
Was I blessed to be such a happy child? I think so, I absolutely think so.
And I think I am incredulous because I am not sure how I feel about this contrast.
I find a comfort in being able, as I am now, to see that which is hard and embrace it as a reminder of my being human.
But how beautiful is it to consider my childhood and see completely through the hard and difficult to the extent is seems to barely exist.
Life is such an enigma.