following on from an earlier post.
I am astonished. Blown away.
Slowly, surely, the Blue, the heavy, demanding, needy Blue, retreated back to her place in the palette, allowing balance to be restored.
I don't know what freaked the blue out - a whole lot of things perhaps. But I listened, I paid attention, I sat with the Blue for the time it needed.
I want, I choose, a fuller, richer palette. At one time in my life, it was easier to let the Blue dominate and obscure the other colours - peaceful pink, comforting purple, joyful yellow, loving red, renewing green. It has been a long, hard struggle to learn ways to broaden the palette again, or, to leave the metaphor behind for a moment, to move from ill health to wellbeing as my norm.
And I like being well. I enjoy my wellbeing. So when Blue tips the balance, as it does from time to time still in my palette, being well means I can sit with the blue, sit with down days, days when depression rises, and let those days be. I keep moving back towards good health now though, when once I would have resigned myself to being overwhelmed by depression and sunk further and further down. Wellbeing is truly my norm now.
I am amazed. I am astounded.
I don't know whether I am actually surprised, or simply delighted in this particular moment, but I am certainly amazed.
Wednesday I came home after an emotionally demanding day and collapsed.
Thursday I couldn't get moving very much, small tasks only, stillness, a recovery day, I thought. I continued to respond to emails as we planned for a funeral in our congregation. I went on with my knitting, a gentle, creative task. Words came for the reflection for the funeral.
Friday I felt even more down, heavier, more lethargic, very low. I kept moving, taking small gentle steps. I told my story on blog, twitter, facebook. Friends and colleagues made contact. You are heard. You are loved. You are not alone.
In the evening, I went to our state meeting of the church, though the Blue would have me stay in. I felt it was time to challenge Blue, though, not let it get set, stuck. The meeting was more a distraction than the healing moment. I talked with friends and colleagues, openly about how I was. Again, you are seen, you are heard. We value you. I still went to sleep heavy, low, and didn't sleep well.
On Saturday I woke feeling slightly less blue. With greater discipline than I have managed to practice in the past, I did my tai chi stretches and breathing. I gathered again with colleagues and friends. The facilitator of our discussions, Dave Male, spoke words that I found affirming of who I am and how I live seeking to faithfully inhabit the story of God revealed in Jesus.
Coming home for lunch before meeting with the family for Monday's funeral, I finished the scarf I'd been kitting. Yellow leapt off the palette. Joy, delight. Like a sudden burst of life, green again.
And as I sat later in the afternoon, pink, purple, rounding out a much more balanced palette.
Being well doesn't mean that I won't have the down days, that depression is necessarily 'gone'. It may never be gone.
It does mean that I have the strength, courage, healthy practices to be able to resist the temptation to let the Blue have its way. It's far easier to give in, to withdraw. But that is not where I want to go any more. I have experienced health, wholeness, wellbeing. And that is what I choose.
Because I choose wellbeing, I am more and more able to stick with disciplines and practices that maintain good health - I find myself choosing to walk and do tai chi much more regularly, and this was a struggle for such a long time. I find myself daily praying, sitting in silent meditation again, something that often got lost in the busyness of life, but to which I am paying more deliberate attention this Lenten season. I choose healthier more nutritious food more often, rather than 'easy' options - I like how I feel when I eat good food.
And I choose to live with integrity, acting on the belief I hold and speak that story strengthens community, that humans are whole together. So I tell my story, openly and honestly, and encourage others to tell their stories in ways that are appropriate for you.
I choose, too, to trust the Spirit, Divine, Wisdom, for I have experienced life surrendering into the River and know that there I find wholeness and fulness of life.
In short, I choose life. Full life.
And I can only have that with you, my fellow humans; with You, Sacred source of life.
Humbly, gratefully, deeply I thank you. I have experienced this fulness in the midst of the blue, and you have helped me to invite the other colours to shine, to take their place on the palette.
I am amazed. I am delighted. I am well.