Except, that’s not entirely true when you consider that our planet revolves around the sun, so the sun never disappears, we simply turn away from it. How you see things depends on your perspective.
Sitting in the Year 3 nativity the other week, watching my boy act out the role of Balthazar in the iconic nativity scene, was so far removed from the time when I became a mum. I suddenly became aware of intense emotions watching Ozzy courageously sing his solo into the mic – his voice filling the room and my heart overflowing with love.
In my first year of motherhood I lived in a state of pretty much constant chaos and confusion in my head. I felt a like a fraudulent parent – as if I’d been mistakenly allocated a role that I just wasn’t up to and I was constantly waiting to be found out. Instead of accepting that it was human to feel overwhelmed and unsure of an entirely new life circumstance, I flipped into self-criticism mode and constantly analysed my thinking and my mood. A therapist would call it ‘hyper-vigilance’ – I was checking in on myself every minute, which took self-consciousness to an epic scale.
I had unwittingly entered a labyrinth of over-thinking, darting left and right in a bid to ‘solve’ my low mood and constant state of high-alert yet incessantly finding myself in a cognitive cul-de-sac. I genuinely believed that I’d unpick the messy web of questions in my mind if only I just gave it more thought. We do this innocently because we buy into our personal thinking and we give it undue credit to influence our wellbeing.
I wish I’d understood more about the nature of thought back then. I had convinced myself that life was scary and my future was fixed – that the way I felt would never change. And these thoughts were 100% real to me. It was quite arrogant in many ways to consider that I could guarantee the future. And yet when I had moments of clarity, I realised that my feelings were coming from my thinking – which fluctuated between re-playing distressing memories, or predicting future (non-existent) catastrophes. I very rarely existed in the moment. Yet in truth, there is never any other time than now.
As Ozzy boldly sang about the bitter perfume of myrrh in the nativity performance, I became acutely aware of the parallels between a time that I had labelled as distinctly unsavoury due to potent thinking. Yet beneath it all was a sweetness I had yet to discover, but was waiting for me when I was ready to embrace it.
Everything is transient. Each moment is life in transition, a relentless ebb and flow that reiterates the impermanence of our existence. We live in the feeling of our thinking – which invariably fluctuates. Yet if we allow ourselves to connect to it, beneath this ever-changing picture is a profound love with an infinite capacity to carry us along.
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