Today was difficult, but ultimately the difficulty proved rewarding.
I started my day with a heavy heart, which gradually lightened as the day went on, but I still carried some feelings of anxiety and sadness by day's end. At first I associated these feelings with my girlfriend Brittany leaving, because from the moment I left her at the airport yesterday I felt some sadness seep into my heart. Over the past couple of months, I've developed a strong connection with her, and I am grateful to have found someone that shares the same desire to be open, vulnerable, and caring. We make a great team. But despite my affection for her, I have been struggling with mixed feelings about her trip to Rwanda over the past week. On one hand, I am very excited for her to have a wonderful experience, and proud of her for following her heart's desire to positively impact the lives of others through her healing potential. I believe this is one of the reasons I am drawn to her, because we both strive to take our past experiences and transform them into something beautiful. But at the same time, I felt this fear around her leaving. I wasn't completely sure why, but ideas of losing her, or becoming disconnected from her had infiltrated my mind. I let this fear overtake me, and I found myself emotionally torn. And so I suffered today. I felt like a piece of me was missing, and so I set myself to reflect on this feeling, and discovered something quite important.
Brittany has become my constant. I've been relying on her for support and guidance during a difficult time when everything is changing; and I have been there for her in the same capacity. We share a strong bond, and we move forward as fellow explorers, healers, and partners. But what I have discovered is that I haven't been strong enough for myself. Most days I feel positive, but there seems to be this creeping sense of dissatisfaction under the surface. This tension has manifested itself in various negative forms...anxiety, distrust, fear, sadness...and I felt at a loss not knowing what was causing these emotions. When I find myself in this state, I look to the wisdom of others as a catalyst for personal reflection, and life delivered what I needed to see/hear. The works I came across have helped me understand that this tension has come as a result of a tradeoff that has seen my spiritual side diluted in return for pragmatism. In this time of adjustment, I have had to make some changes that have impacted my feelings around fulfillment. No longer am I living my purpose at a high concentration, exploring new ideas and contributing directly to the growth of others several hours a day. Instead I am working a job where I perform a lot of duties I am not thrilled about in order to gain bits of valuable experience here and there that will help me later on down the road. I am lucky in that I feel that my work is important, but I am not content with my role in the centres because it doesn't feel complete. Positive benefit for society, check. Great co-workers, check. Personal fulfillment/growth? Maybe not at the level I had hoped.
The problem with this is that there is a growing disconnect between my external and internal realities, and I'm finding it difficult to connect the dots of the larger picture of my purpose on a day to day basis. Through my reflection, I've realized that I need to spend more time building personal growth back into my schedule, and to find ways to reconnect with my life's purpose. I need to increase the frequency of gratitude and positivity present in my lexicon. I also need to find peace within myself, to be okay with my present reality. Life is a journey, and sometimes I forget this simple truth. I'm looking for the beauty in the sunset, but failing to find peace in the beauty of the day. I will remember that life is wonderful even if it's not perfect, and that everything will work out as it should. And through this practice, I will find strength in myself. I will feel more secure with myself, and the areas where I intersect with the external. I will rediscover the ways to love others at the level I hope to, and grow alongside those I care deeply about.
So let's tie this back in to the start. I feel like I've gotten to the root of a problem and discovered it's not quite as big of a deal as it had originally felt. And what's really cool is that Brittany and I are both actively working towards this goal of living with peace and compassion, and I believe the flower of our relationship will continue to bloom beautifully. I am happy to write that I have shifted my feelings from where they were earlier today, and am now 100% content with this time apart. Space can be healthy, and I know we will come back together better than we were before she left, both as individuals, and as a couple.