I’ve been thinking about ‘love’ a lot. And I have come to the conclusion that we are surrounded by love all the time, we can either chose to recognise it or ignore it. Yes, I know, other people have come to this conclusion long before me, but the important thing here is that I have finally come to it too.
Take a snapshot of my morning as an example. I live alone, in a country, roughly 900 miles from my family and most of my friends. This could, understandably so, lead to feeling alone or unloved, but it rarely does. This morning, I did a meditation recommended by one of my friends. I followed it up by going on a cycle, wearing a scarf given by another friend and a handbag sent as a gift from another friend in America. In my bag were my house keys, with a key-ring bought for me by a friend I’ve known since college and another key-ring with a picture of my beautiful nephew. Right now the sun is making rainbows on my floor thanks to a sun catcher handmade by another talented friend. I am wearing a pair of tracksuit bottoms, that my mum gave me on one of my trips home, where I’d forgotten to pack a pair and she gave me hers, saying they were ‘too wee for her and I should have them’. They probably were not too wee for her at all, since this is the type of things that mammies do. There, in those tiny moments and memories is the ‘love’. And they are there for us all, in a hundred different ways every day. It’s not just about stuff bought or given, it’s about letters sent by post, an email or Facebook message sending good news or bad, or something as simple as an emoji or ‘I saw this and thought of you”. It’s about Dad reading this over and sending me the list of typos. It’s all ‘love’. We can either choose to see the love in these moments or choose to rush on by to the next crisis or the next Netflix binge watching session.
I have an uncle who frequently says “enjoy the moment” and even if those moments are filled with pain and sadness rather than joy and delight, they are still there to be enjoyed, savoured and appreciated. I am guilty as much as the next person of rushing through my days and nights. My head is a constant battle of ‘should do’, ‘could do’ and more usually ‘why didn’t I?’ Do I enjoy these moments? No. But I ‘should’ because at the end of the day, when the last leaf has fallen from the tree of my life, they are all that will matter. These moments are in fact everything.
Over the Christmas break I had the opportunity to spend some time in Donegal with friends. We were part of a getaway designed to give us time to step out of our busy lives and fully appreciate everything that is going on. One of the activities we did was a glass walk. The concept is simple. There is a sheet covered with broken glass and you walk from one end to the other, fully aware of each step you are taking.
As the facilitator said, “This is about remembering to be calm. Remember that you are safe and calm, in each moment of your life, even if in that moment, you are walking on broken glass. The glass has the ability to hurt you, but if you trust yourself and are sure in your step, you find that it does not.” (I’m paraphrasing a little bit.)
I did it twice, each time more amazed by my ability to stay calm in this situation. The glass underneath your feet cracks and pops. It sounds violently painful and yet, there wasn’t a scratch on me. I was indeed ‘enjoying the moment.’ I was fully aware of the support of everyone around me and each persons sheer happiness for each other when we completed our task. This is our life encapsulated. Yes, it has the ability to hurt you, but until it does we shouldn’t live like it already has. We should ‘enjoy the moment’ in all its shades of weird and wonderful because that is everything. No matter what the moment brings you, remember you are loved, you are supported and there is a team of people who’ve got your back, even if you’ve forgotten it. Now, go be awesome and ‘enjoy the moment.’