Crawl if you must, but keep going
In the last six months or so I've been feeling really, really freakin' delighted to be here in this universe, on this planet, living this particular story. And no one is more surprised by this truth than me.
When someone very close to me died unexpectedly four years ago, I sincerely believed I would never laugh again. What was there to feel joyful about in a world where this person - full of charisma, passion, and empathy - ceased to exist? As I watched the sun set, the colors didn't seem as marvelous; when I went to parties with friends, I struggled to make engaging conversation; when I traveled to another country, sank my toes under the warm ocean salt water, looked out beyond me into the seemingly endless and infinite abyss - a view that once made me feel small but powerful, insignificant but strangely free - I felt nothing. Or rather, I felt worse than nothing - I felt indifferent.
It took me years to realize it wasn't the view of the ocean or the party scene or the colors in the sunset that made me feel an overwhelming presence of nothingness. It was this monstrous hole, conceived by the non-existence of someone I loved profoundly and my own debilitating grief, that murdered my ability to feel joy for quite some time.
I knew that my only hope at reconnecting to the beauty and light this world offers was to first truly connect with the beauty and light that existed within me. I had no other choice but to turn inward and begin filling myself up with all the joy, love, and delight that had been eradicated by death. I decided to open myself up to the many wonders of the universe, even on days when I questioned whether any wonders even existed anymore. When I saw a trampoline, I jumped on it; when I saw a pool, I swam in it; when I heard live music, I forced myself to listen to it; when a friend invited me to go to a yoga class, I didn't let myself respond with no. I started to say yes to any opportunity that had the slightest chance to fill me up with joy, love and delight. And eventually, everything shifted.
If you're walking through the dark woods on your journey at this time, I know it feels like you're permanently lost on a sign-less trail, making it impossible to know where the F to go. It is scary here. It is hard to see. But it is temporary, if you let it be. You will not forever be paused in indecision or stuck in depression. You will find your way through the woods if you trust that sacred and ever present wisdom within and force yourself to choose living rather than idleness. You will marvel at sunsets once again. You will laugh until tears roll down your cheeks at midnight as you try to explain to your best friend how you spent the evening taking a ballet class accidentally at the gym.
And it will all make you really, really freakin' delighted to be here in this universe, on this planet, living this particular story. And no one will be more surprised than you.
Healing is a long, seemingly endless road, darlings. But it exists for all of us if we choose to keep moving forward. Crawl if you must, but keep going.