breakthrough . . .

by mulberryshoots

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Don’t you agree that the term, “breakthrough” is sometimes overused? Perhaps it’s because life is harder now after 9-11: real and imagined economic, political strife, personal feelings of fear, anxiety and worry about ourselves, our families, our country. It has felt like that to me during this intense summer of heat, humidity, drought, wildfires, floods, sinkholes, never mind the state of the world, whatever that is. Shopping doesn’t seem to help for very long either.

I’ve been feeling a little besieged myself by old memories fraught in the past brought on by a memoir writing class but mostly by feeling like I am running out of time. When I stop and think about it, that’s really a dumb way for me to spend my time–worrying about running out of it while wasting it while I’m worrying about it. If that isn’t silly, I don’t know what is. Still, it feels normal.

I’m just human, though–so after looking outside myself for answers, I began thinking this morning about a situation that has been so problematic that I had thought of running away from it altogether. Gradually, though, I could see certain parts of the puzzle floating in front of me until suddenly, they seemed to click together to communicate a very different picture altogether. Then, I started researching online to understand it better. As I continued to read, the realization of what was really going on, and probably had been going on for a long time gradually dawned on me. Everything fit into this new picture. I was dumbfounded.

I also felt calmer. Understanding something for the first time was grounding. Even if it was difficult (and it still is,) it nevertheless seems less threatening than not being able to grasp a situation or feeling like I don’t know what to do about it. To me, acceptance is only possible when one truly understands a person or a situation. Everybody talks about compassion all the time, but I don’t believe you can have true compassion without understanding. Until the brain is willing, none of the other synapses that control action will fire away in constructive, rather than destructive pathways.

It’s rather humbling to realize that one’s actions can be ill-directed even though one feels well-intentioned.

A breakthrough is defined as  “An act of overcoming or penetrating an obstacle or restriction.” I feel lucky that I had one today because it is making a huge difference. I am also reminded that the quality of how we live and feel about life is dependent upon how we think about it within. That old lesson again.

I don’t know why this particular breakthrough arrived today. It feels like the one I didn’t know I was still waiting for, though. Thanks, Helpers!