You Can be BOTH
Here in California we’ve been facing some of the worst wildfires in the history of our state. There are MULTIPLE devastating fires burning all at once (send prayers to all those affected).
All of this came on the tail-end of a weeklong heatwave of temperatures between 100-111 degrees. And let us not forget that is all while we’re in the midst of a global pandemic!
Being outdoors had been a saving grace in the midst of spending nearly 100% of our time at home for the past 5 months. But between the heat and smoke, outdoors has been one of the last places you want to be.
Earlier this week, we splurged on our favorite sandwiches for takeout lunch (if you’re in Sac, GO to Juno’s!). When I went to pick them up I was greeted by the lovely Amy, who is always running the front of the house.
Amy is a salt-of-the-earth person. Her kindness is consistent. As I walked in, I could feel her smile even though I haven’t actually seen it in over 5 months. It’s always hidden by a colorful (and probably hand sewn) mask that she’s wearing.
I asked her how she’s been hanging in there and watched the corners of her eyes tire as she let out a deep sigh before answering. She explained that everyday she makes it a point to count her blessings & recognize what’s good. On the other hand, though, she feels tired and sad. And that it seems kind of weird to be grateful AND sad.
“It’s okay to be both!”, I exclaimed, not fully grasping the important lesson for myself in that statement.
It can be so easy to believe that if we’re grateful, we shouldn’t be sad. Or that when we’re feeling sad, we can’t still be grateful too.
We try to stuff ourselves into these “emotion boxes” and totally forget that we are multi-faceted beings. It’s easy to want to label certain emotions good and other ones bad. We question how we could be feeling two things that we thought were so different.
Yoga teaches about the union of perceived opposites, though. It affirms that the other end of the spectrum is still a part of the same spectrum.
We’re living in strange times, my friends. Now, more than ever, kindness is needed and that work starts within.
Be kind to yourself and the various feelings that you feel, sometimes ALL at the same time.
You can be grateful and sad. You can be BOTH.