Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking is a portrait of grief during the year following her husband's death.  She pinpoints the vagueness and totality of grief accurately and beautifully (based on what I experienced), cataloguing her unwillingness to throw out the last of her husband's shoes, for the wish that he would somehow one day return.  This book encourages inward thinking, self healing, and offers a perspective with distance - a perspective that illuminates what truly matters in life... As Joan writes, life can change in an instant.

"We have no way of knowing that the funeral itself will be anodyne, a kind of narcotic regression in which we are wrapped in the care of others and the gravity and meaning of the occasion.  Nor can we know ahead of the fact (and here lies the heart of the difference between grief as we imagine it and grief as it is) the unending absence that follows, the void, the very opposite of meaning, the relentless succession of moments during which we will confront the experience of meaninglessness itself."

At the same time that her husband died, Joan Didion's young adult daughter was in the ICU, in a coma.  This combination of trauma is baffling and The Year of Magical Thinking is Joan's attempt to piece it all together, to swallow and face the drastic upheaval that occurs.

Healing Sickness and Other Priorities

Monday, January 8, 2018

It can be difficult to find real balance or harmony in a society where priorities are not necessarily aligned with well-being or operating at one's highest potential.  I often hear others complain about a situation relating to imbalance, though many resentfully accept where they are, too complacent or overworked to evoke a meaningful lifestyle change.  I have experienced this before myself and now know that when I feel that nagging feeling of unrest, it is time to take action and invoke change.  An imbalanced lifestyle can create a space for sickness - a quick cold, the flu, or even more debilitating states. 

A few weeks ago, I felt the onset of a cold.  It came after feeling run down for a few weeks - both physically and emotionally.  Rather than tackling both of these issues head on, I was too overwhelmed to act timely.  I settled into them and got sick and along with the cold, came some negativity.  I felt the urge to complain - which is not very typical.  I turned to meditation and Oprah's Super Soul Sunday for a pick me up.  It became apparent that I was not validating my worth.  In allowing myself to be run down physically, and spiral into negative thinking, I was ignoring my innate worth as a human being to be well treated.  I changed my thought patterning and reprioritized what was important (ie. health is more important than work, socializing, etc.) and suddenly I felt better.  And it was like I'd never been sick at all.  I am by no means an expert, but I've witnessed these pillars in action and intellectually they make sense.  Getting sick is a warning for me to listen to my body more closely - to ask for grace and calm.  It is all knowing and just as I needed it, pulled me back into a slower pace, a safer and healthier rhythm.

© Wild Hearted 2016.

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