peace + hardships

7:21 PM

Today was a pretty ordinary day - shower, work, lunch, work, errands, etc... We stopped by a farm stand because I was missing our little cabin (we're going back tomorrow) and it felt good to roam around giant watermelons, wildflowers and homemade jam. It's things like that that give me peace and ground me these days. It felt good, familiar and we drove home with a bag full of delicious produce.
I remember years ago sitting on a therapist's sofa, pulling my hair out and agonizing over my perceived "messed up" life. I was feeling all the FEELINGS and it was becoming a little much. I was in the middle of my last semester of college, I had just started my disastrous foray into the real estate business (dude, don't even ask), we were in the thick of wedding planning and my OCD was in OVERDRIVE. We discussed some options, we discussed the sad state of my life and then my therapist said something I'll never forget, she said: "You won't believe me now but I can pretty much promise you that in a couple of years after you're married and settled and start a family you will be just fine - all by yourself." Of course in the moment I just thought "hah, fat chance" but now I have to admit she was completely right. All those demons have returned to their trusty home (torturing some other poor post-grads I bet), the anxiety is gone, the obsessiveness under control and all those fears have been quieted more or less. For the first time in my life I have been feeling very at peace recently and it's a nice change. 
However, the past few weeks I've had this nagging fear that it's too good to be true. That perhaps I don't deserve this or it must be inevitably taken away. And to be honest it's also hard to truly enjoy and savor your life when so many around you are struggling. We have quite a few friends and family members that are going through very tumultuous times in their life. You can smell the fear and anxiety on them and their eyes never stop darting to and fro. It stabs you like a knife, mostly because you've been there too, you know what it's like. Those feelings of loneliness, confusion, fear or just plain old depression. Being someone that has plans of going into the psychology profession it's hard not to hand out advice like lolipops at bank drive thru. And yet... When I think back to those hard times the only thing that truly mattered/helped was a hug and just that balmy silence that comes from someone that's truly listening. And as much as I want to fix, heal or advise I know the best I can do is just be there. Just hold their hand and pray that one day soon they too will find peace.
Some people may say that claiming to enjoy Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass is cliche and "so does everyone else, duh!" But it truly is one of my favorites, in fact the words I read in my weathered copy of it that I found at a used bookstore are what got me through that very time I just spoke of. He has a way of transporting your mind to the very place it yearns so badly to be. And so I leave you with this:

“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know. 
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.” 
― Walt Whitman

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