Yesterday I finally took a yoga class, had a non-death related conversation and went out with a friend to dinner and a movie. In each moment I was clear and present. And in being present, I experienced JOY.
I have come to learn that most of the feelings that I have that I do not like occur in moments in which I am not present. Not really looking, listening and feeling the exact moment I am in, instead I am listening to my self talk, looking at imaginary scenarios in my head and feeling old feelings. In fact most of my reaction this past week to the passing of my father-in-law was about the deaths of my parents, which happened 21 and 5 years ago. And I know that this is something that I cannot control or even stop, and I am learning that I would never want it to stop. Why? Because it gives me access to empathy, compassion and allows me to relate to others. Our memories and stories will always be there, but we can decide what we will do with them and how best to use them in the present moment. And if I never felt really bad again, I certainly would not get so excited around my joyous moments.
Our life is a string of moments, moments filled with experiences, feelings and people. Soak it up. Bath in it. Love it. All the hurt and the happy, all the pain and the joy - it is the moment that you are still alive. Do not wish it away. And when JOY hits you, stand still and experience it with all your heart.