This time last week I was a shattered little wreck. Emotional mayhem, essentially, and really for no good reason. Last Wednesday was the full moon. So, despite feeling I had no “good reason” to be such a melodramatic, ticking time bomb of emotion, the truth of the matter is I oughtn’t be at all surprised. As I remind everyone each month, the full moon amplifies whatever energy one is exuding and cultivating. Everything becomes magnified. We are creatures of free will, thus providing the opportunity to harness the moon energy and manifest the energy, outcomes and experiences we desire.
I was not in a positive head space last Wednesday. It felt holistically as if I’d literally woken up on the wrong side of the bed. As though I were walking around on two left feet. I cried three, possibly four, times that day. I screamed at the top of my lungs in my car twice. I turned into a blubbering pile of self-pity when my mom snapped at me on the phone. I sulked through the first three quarters of school, tears still burning behind my eyes. My thoughts towards myself were the farthest thing from “nice.” I left yoga feeling energetically blocked and so frustrated I feared I’d explode. I’d felt compelled to practice twenty more minutes of vigorous flow when I got home from the studio just to try and release some of that pent-up, aggressive energy. I finally poured my sorry self into bed, mentally and emotionally exhausted, hoping to wake up less of a train wreck the next day.
I was met with disappointment when, upon meeting the next day’s dawn, I was still a freakfest of feelings. Sure, I felt better than on Wednesday, but I was by no means tranquil and emotionally unhindered. The good news is, as the days passed, so did my horrendous mood. The energy of the full moon waned, released me, and I was able to sink quietly back into a feeling of normalcy. The winds of my world quit thrashing. Thoughts that had been self-deprecating and irritable turned soft. My spirit gently floated back to her resting place inside my being.
This whole episode of chaos really didn’t span more than a 24-hour period of time. But, I’ll tell you, for someone who rarely has a “bad day,” those 24 hours were harrowing. I fully realize that there are loads of people in the world who face truly harrowing circumstances everyday. This little presentation of my “first-world problems,” if you will, are in part meant to be ironic and in part meant to truly respectfully honor my own human experience, regardless of its “first-worldness.” There are two edges to that coin. A coin that simultaneously proffers kind understanding and acceptance of my own emotional barometer while also firmly providing a reality check and puts life into perspective.
Well, seven days later, I am about to pour myself into bed again but this time in an exhaustive state of bliss. Today was totally ordinary. Nothing really remarkable happened, just as nothing remarkably awful happened last Wednesday. I had very nearly an identical day, save for the complete opposite emotional state. I woke up, sat for meditation, had brekkie, went to school, went to yoga, came home…but my mind was in a totally different space (as is the moon, mind you…). I realized something that, in truth, I’d already known. But in a different context.
We can’t really appreciate the sunshine unless we’ve walked beneath the rainclouds. Only after enduring the threatening fullness of dark, menacing storm clouds – and possibly even being drenched by rain or battered by hail – can we really appreciate the warm kiss of sun on our skin. The caress of positive, gentle, flowing energy is only such when we’ve withstood the suffocating, jagged nature of emotional blockage.
Today was brilliant not because anything extraordinary happened. Today was brilliant because last Wednesday sucked. Last Wednesday was emotionally traumatizing. Considering that I’d had no tangible reason to have been such an emotional terrorist was even more worrisome to my psyche that day, because I felt I had nothing on which to blame my fragile state. I tried to pin the blame to my Mumma but that didn’t last long, as she’s the only one who’d always be in my corner without ever caring to hear the evidence, and I know it. This truth, that there was nothing to blame and no real reason for my suffering, felt like the rug being pulled out from under my feet. My analytical brain (who so rarely chooses to care or participate in my daily activities, gladly letting my spirit be the interpreter and guide) decided to pipe up on this day. Needing – no, demanding – a reason for this preposterous display of dramatics. What purpose was it serving?
I hadn’t any answer last Wednesday. But today, as I pulled my car out of the parking lot leaving yoga, it hit me. I was grinning like a fool, deeply nourished from a satisfying class and pleasant day, enjoying the watercolor sunset sprayed across the horizon. In that moment, as I rang my Mumma and left a chattering voicemail, I realized what that reason was. If nothing else, last week’s 24-hour [mostly] internal fit of hysterics served the purpose of infusing today, this very moment, with a sense of pure bliss. Making an ordinary day feel infinitely more blissful just by having experienced a crapstick day the week before. Sheer normalcy, made brilliant and blissful by a previous experience of gloom.
I’m not saying we need to suffer painfully half the time in order to feel joy. But we do need to suffer painfully some of the time in order to appreciate joy. That’s my theory, at least, and my own experience. Having this decadent slice of perspective feels like a gift and, while I don’t doubt it will occasionally elude me when those painful days do come around, I’ll be reminded of it soon after. With each fresh glimpse of the same truth, it is further embedded in my being. We can learn to look misery in the face and know, with certainty, that it will inevitably fortify a future moment of joy just for existing now. Like muscle memory, we can begin to reflexively identify a painful, uncomfortable phase as just that – a phase, and one whose dimness reflects a brighter gleam once the light returns. What goes up must come down, and what hits the floor must rebound upwards.
If nothing else, we can rely on the rule of gravity. But being more romantic than scientific, I prefer to hold onto my image of the sun dancing around storm clouds. Both exist; both will always exist. Sometimes they will even share the sky at once, bridging the space between them with color, making amends; irreconcilable forces gripping one another in a brilliant, furious display of fierce, unconditional love.