from the blog

The End of Summer and a Swirl of Emotions

This picture was taken five years ago.  It was a happy day on the beach with friends in the waning days of summer.  But time is so wild it feels like it might have been two weeks ago.  Or ten years.

I have been full of emotion the last few days, and I’m not entirely sure why.  Just a swirl of emotions.  Maybe it’s the end of the summer.  Or both of my kids’ birthdays coming.  Or the start of new school years.  Or changes on the horizon.  Or just the daily challenges of living.  Or the disappointments that are inevitable in life.  Or the wild world events that swirl around us.

I have found myself getting frustrated with these emotions.  I want to move past them quickly.  To get to the other side.

But then I realize I just need to be with them.  Live through them.  Feel what they want me to feel.  And then move on when I’ve gleaned the lesson from them (or am just ready to move on).

I was reading the work of Thich That Hanh (my favorite Buddhist monk) last night, and I stopped and reread these words:

‘Dear one, I am here for you.’  You should talk to your depression or your anger just as you would to a child.  You embrace it tenderly with the energy of mindfulness and say, ‘Dear one, I know you are there, and I am going to take care of you,” just as you would with your crying baby.  There is no discrimination or dualism here, because compassion and love are you, but anger is too.  All three are organic in nature, so you don’t need to be afraid.  You can transform them.

His point is that by being there for our challenging emotions, we can transmute them.  But we have to be there for them first.

So that’s what I’m trying to do now.  Just be there for myself and my emotions and know that, like all emotions, they change.

So that is where I am right now.  That, and I’m taking a few days off of social media.  To enjoy the last days of summer and to just live life a bit.  I wish you a beautiful, restful weekend.  And a lot of patience and understanding for yourself.  This being human thing ain’t easy.  But if we look around, really stop and notice, there is so much to appreciate around us.  And our challenging emotions will pass, if we just slow down and are here for them.

Happy last days of summer.

  • Linda Goldfarb

    I just love to read your writing, Ali. I feel like you’re just speaking to me and we’re having coffee.
    Much love,