Like a monstrous rush of a bursting dam, I sucked in my breath hard and gave out a long wail. Out came all my anxiety and fear and pain and worry in a rush of relief, while at the same time came the overwhelming helplessness of seeing that my baby had been bruised and hurt and I couldn't get to him. That much emotion in one moment stopped my heart in my chest. I experienced unconditional love; a love that was so total and expansive that it barely fit in my body, heart and soul.
I've never had another experience like that, but I've had some that have taken my breath away, and for several different reasons. Thinking about these things broke through all the mind-boggling negativity and irrationality that the recent weeks of news have held.
It got me thinking. Just how do we all keep plodding through life bearing the weight of such negativity? So much is unknown. Everything is unknown. No one can even begin to project or predict based on the circumstances at hand. There's no way to prepare, to defend ourselves against the unknown. Just writing this is making me scowl.
I have the answer. I figured it would probably be best to go out and feed my horse, dogs and cats before sitting down to write, or I'd be feeding in the wee hours of the morning again, like last night. It's best to do that before I tell you what that answer is. I'll take you with me.
I put my nose into Odin's shoulder and smelled his wonderfully warm horse smell. I put my head down so that all four dogs could lick my face while I felt the breezes from their wagging tails. Cats were wrapping themselves around both of my legs and reaching for my hand. Odin stood still while I leaned against him to stay upright on my feet.
I laughed. And laughed and laughed. I laughed the entire hour or so that I was out there with my little zoo. I laughed with the pure joy of the moment.
I hadn't realized how much I had squashed myself into a tiny emotional space in self defense. I didn't know I wasn't living in the moment anymore. And, I hadn't noticed the absence of joy.
It's there. It's always there, waiting for me to get back to it. And, it's always there waiting for you too. Joy is not just in the huge, life-changing experiences. It's here in the moments, too. Have you found yours?