Life is not a straight line. It's a downpour of gifts, please – hold out your hand

Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you're here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

There's Room for it All

"What will happen to us today is completely unknown.  Our commitment is to use it to awaken our heart."  Pema Chödrön

As I was standing in the rain on the edge of the highway with the puke bag in my hand, the above quote came to mind.  

Let me explain...

Some time after we hit the road to begin our 10 and a half hour drive from Idaho back to Oregon last week, about an hour after my oldest daughter calmed down from her very long screaming fit, hours before the dog shit in the car, my youngest threw up. Very luckily, there was a little red trash bag near enough that I was able to lean over the front seat and get it to her before she doused the car.  

This is not what I would describe as fun.  

Right after the throw up came, my husband pulled the car over to the side of the road just in case she had more coming. I climbed out, puke bag in hand (held as far away from my body as I could get it) and just stood there in the rain looking at the hills and sky and gorgeous scenery.  I was so aware in that moment that this is just the way life is. The yucky stuff is always right there but so is the beauty.  And the choice of where to put our attention is always ours.  I was aware too of how there is room for it all.  It can all exist just as it is, we don't have to push any of it away.  And I was aware that it's the resistance to, the non-acceptance of, the pushing away, the thinking it shouldn't be, that's painful.  

The fact that I was standing in the rain with the puke bag in hand and we still had a 9 hour drive ahead of us with an overstuffed car, two kids and a dog, was not really a problem at all, it was my thoughts that were the problem.  I could stand there in utter frustration, begrudging the nuisance of it all.  Or I could take a deep breath and notice the beauty that surrounded; the gorgeous open land before me, the sweet family in the car, the eyes that were seeing it all.  I could just stand there and let it wake me up.  

I see so clearly that it's never about waiting for the yuck to go away but to be with it all just as it is, to allow the yuck (along with the beauty) to snap us out of our sleepiness, to allow our hearts to open wider and wider still.  I'm getting that there really is room for it all.  

This seems to be a very big lesson for me right now.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

P.S:  My poem Wide-Eyed Open has been chosen for "Best of the Web:  Love Poems."  It seems there is some voting going on over there--I'd love it if you'd click here and vote for mine!


  1. I love that you saw through that moment of craziness and were able to see beauty. It's rare that we are able to do just that, and stop letting our mind find only the negative. You are a strong woman sister :)
    I love you,

  2. I love that you are here with me, sweet sister--birthday girl. It means everything.

    I love you too.

  3. I so know what you mean, Julia. Something like this has been echoing through me a lot lately; it's not so much what happens to us that causes us discomfort, it's what we tell ourselves about what's happening that brings us pain/fear/discomfort/etc.

  4. So true, JC. Thank you for leaving your words here--this space is better for it.

    Sending you love.

  5. this post really spoke to me. i am seeing so much beauty in the passing of my grandmother. there really is room for it all. thank you, julia.

    congratulations on having your poem chosen!=)

    1. Kelli, I'm so happy my words spoke to you...and so sorry to hear of the passing of your grandmother.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to connect.

      Sending you love and warm hugs. xo

  6. When you said there was room for it all - for the yucky and the joy it stuck with me. Last night I tried to make a healthy meal but it turned out to be a wash. Normally, that just puts me in a bad mood but last night I felt like I could still hold on to my joy even if dinner tasted like mush. =) Thank you.

    1. Lynnette, your words have totally touched me this morning. So happy that something I said helped you open to what really matters. It's so easy to let the "yuck" get in the way of the joy and beauty--I think I'm realizing that the yuck can actually be part of the joy and feels like relief to know this.

      With love & gratitude.

  7. Grrr! How did I miss this. Oh... I remember. It's because my view was obstructed by all the yucky.

    A breath when I needed it. Thank you for reminding me that it truly is about where I focus my attention. xo


What are you thinking/feeling? I'd really love to know...

♥ Julia