I woke gently and feeling decently well. The morning is quiet. Yoga felt good and I’m not in much pain. The pale sky slowly turning blue suggests another lovely summer day, probably hot.  I pulled an exceptional double shot of espresso this morning, rich and dark and topped with a dense crema. I’m having ‘a good hair day’, and the clothes I picked for work fit well and I feel beautiful – which still matters even at 51. So…what’s with the tears?

It started while I was meditating, big hot tear drops began welling up, and sliding down my cheeks. First just one or two, then a torrent, and finally sitting quietly, shoulders shaking ever so slightly, still focused on breathing, tears falling… Why am I crying? There’s no mistaking it now. This is not weeping, although it is not sobbing either. I’m not in hysterics. I don’t feel anxious, or afraid. It’s almost as if…it’s all just ‘too much’, and here are the tears, spilling over because there’s just no more room for emotions to be kept packed away behind a veneer of resolve, control, and ‘appropriateness’. I even ‘feel okay’ inasmuch as I’m not in much pain, slept decently well, and don’t even have the usual headache. Still…the tears fall.

Instead of lashing out at the world like a frightened animal, or panicking and throwing an hysterical tantrum built on anxiety, fear, and assumptions, this morning I simply let the tears fall. Plentifully. Even continuing to meditate. This morning, instead of paying my tears no heed, and saying or thinking something powerfully dismissive like ‘pay no attention to the fluid leaking from my face holes, I’ll get that checked out’, I gave my attention over to my emotions for a moment, still breathing, still present, and compassionate. Something pretty wonderful happened…I feel ‘loved’ and cared for. There’s no one here but me. One partner away, taking care of his own needs, resting and taking comfort among friends. The other, somewhere else in the house, possibly sleeping; it’s very quiet this morning. It’s just me, as I said, and yet… I feel secure, nurtured, comforted…I can do this for me? Myself?

The tears stopped. Meditation continued. A smile tugs at the corners of my mouth now and I feel the small crinkles at the corners of my eyes – the sort I’d expect if I’d been happy all my life – and I feel grateful for this strangely cleansing morning. I still don’t really ‘understand’ the tears, but maybe I was just ‘full up’ with emotions and some had to spill over. It’s been a very trying week so far, and my heart feels altered by it somehow. Being surprised about the depth and richness of my emotional life doesn’t occur to me – then I wonder why. (Go, Brain! lol Can I get just a little constancy, please? No. No, I can not. It’s not how we’re wired, is it? 🙂 )

Interestingly, having finished my espresso and my email, I’m not only no longer crying, I feel just on the edge of … ‘merry’. There’s something important about taking care of my heart, and treating myself well, that was slipping from my grasp, and I think I am understanding more right now than I ever did previously… it’s not just take care of my body well, or maintaining good self-care, and an orderly comfortable environment. Taking care of me also has a specific emotional component that I missed, something very specific; treating myself with real compassion, with acceptance, with kindness.  These aren’t just keywords in a search about meditation, mindfulness, mental health or menopause… They are real experiences, that provided to myself, by me, actually do result in real feelings of being cared for and valued. (Can you see the light bulb over my head?)

Choices along the way change the journey.

Choices along the way change the journey.

This feels good.  It’s a bit as if I’m standing at a point on my path with a sign post… one way leads to greater self-control through rigid habit building, and skilled maintenance of those habits, and a certain tolerance for misery… the other… says only ’emotional self-sufficiency’, leaving me to guess at the nature of the destination.  One direction paved, heavily traveled, landscaped, manicured, well-mapped, reviewed often… and in the other direction, more of a trail, cut into the underbrush, shaded with a dense overhang, disappearing around a bend into the unknown… I recall an oft-repeated quote from a Robert Frost poem than never really resonated with me before. “…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”  I look it up and read the entire poem, taken a moment to really savor the relevance in the moment.

Continuing my journey...walking my own path.

Continuing my journey…walking my own path.

Today is a good day for poetry, and a good day to be moved. Today is a good day to treat myself well without reservations. Today is a good day to feel content, strong, and whole – and to enjoy this moment that I do feel that way. Today is a good day to change the world.