I’ve heard it said that a heart full of gratitude doesn’t have room for sadness.
But lately I’ve been carrying both of these emotions, and not even separately but as if they are somehow entwined.
This year has been full of moments so heavy that I’ve had to learn how to carry some and let others gracefully go. It seems fitting that I began 2020 with a challenge so remarkable, both physically and mentally, that it gave me renewed belief in my own strength. As we stood in front of Muktinath temple after crossing the highest mountain pass in the world, I looked at the statue of Buddha set so strikingly against the backdrop of the Himalayas and I thought about letting go.
Admittedly, letting go has never been my strength. I think it’s probably connected to childhood memories of my own abandonment - but I’ve always struggled to release things and people in my life, even when they’ve become burdens.
When I returned home, a new woman - I let go. Of pain, of guilt, and even of my relationship which had stopped serving us both entirely.
I started over. And the process wasn’t easy. In many ways, it felt like jumping into the unknown. I lost control, I lost myself… but I knew that in my brokenness I would find a way to rebuild myself entirely.
Today I stood on a rock ledge overlooking these mountains that I’m so grateful to call home and I found myself in tears - of both sadness and gratitude. It has been a long journey and my road to healing continues on.
I wish I only had room for gratitude in my heart, but the more it breaks, the bigger it gets, and the more space that sadness occupies. So for now, I will carry them both.
But I know that one day soon I will find the sadness to be too much to carry..
And then, once again, I will let go.