same me, who dis?

Strong feelings, specifically the ones I have the most difficulty feeling, diminish my capacity for practicing a single virtuous act. When it’s a combination of feelings or the pain seems too great, navigation becomes completely impossible, my ability to love turns into a mirage, an occurance I didn't care to explore—for a very long time. Putting distance between my feelings and myself created a chasm, starting with the first hole I dug.

A picture that hung in my childhood house said love is patient, it is kind, it does not envy//Love does not boast, it is not proud//Love does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking//Love is not easily angered//Love keeps no record of wrongs//Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth//Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes//Love always perseveres//Love never fails.

For many years, my mind has referenced that picture and those words frequently, usually at random. The layout of the print is what I liked best; a grid, each square containing a heart made of different painted flowers. Each heart containing a phrase written in black ink with a nib pen. Compartmentalized. Organized. Of the details my mind has captured and tucked away in files I would later access, this is a popular one. 

But somehow when I am swept away in an ocean of feelings, the ends of those phrases go missing. I think I hold the scales. I think I can control. I think in permanence. I hate. I watch land drift further away as the waves pull me under. The chasm gives life to the depth of an ocean, the bottom of a well; it extends through a keyhole, it is swept under a rug and it exists in the shadows. 

At some points I’m in that chasm. At some points I reach peaks. At some points the road is long and flat and it seems to disappear into the distance, though it's endless. Although I often eagerly seek the comfort of familiarity, I am willing to embrace the newness of each day that lies ahead. There is no new me, I am the same person, in a new day. There is no new life, I have the same life, in a new day.

I can sink or swim. I can draw upon wishes or water. I can seek attention or privacy. I can cheat or be diligent. I can live through my feelings, all of them, and I don't have to change myself to do it. I just have to show up.