18 April 2013

Life as a care bear

Last week a friend of mine told me that I remind her of a Care Bear - mostly likely because I tend to view the world through rose coloured classes.  I am, most definitely, a glass half-full kinda gal - choosing everyday to look for the best in a situation and for the good in people.  This week however I feel like Grumpy Bear as my current view on the world took a beating.  The only problem with living in a Care Bear-esque world is that when humanity disappoints, it really breaks your heart. 
Last night was a not uncommon battle in my head of "should I go to yoga or stay here cuddling with Ruby?"  Even with an impending thunderstorm I decided to just go in hopes that a good sweat would take my mind of all this and try to center myself.  The moment I walked into the hot room and felt the warmth surround me I began to let go.  Laying on my mat waiting for class to begin it was a struggle to maintain my composure.  I could feel my closed eyes welling up with emotion as all my thoughts of the day pounded in my now still mind.  As our teacher came in to class to welcome us and help us set an intention for our practice. I must admit that at first I tried to tense my face and hold them back but at one point I knew I needed to just set my intention, calm my breath and let them go.  My intention was peace.  In our world.  In my own world.  In my mind. In my heart.  

I've been trying to hard this week to deal with the feelings that are so deep in my soul and quite honestly that I thought I had made peace with.  For the first few months following 9/11 it was hard to talk about being there but it was the only way to try to make sense of it.  There was definitely survivors guilt - wondering why my life was spared when so many perished.  I thought that the more I tried to talk about it that eventually it would make sense but that's the catch - it can never make sense because an act of terror of that magnitude is completely senseless. Then eventually I stopped talking about it and tried to move forward because life carries on.  I used that experience and decided to try to seek happiness and be grateful for each day.  My life had to have been spared for a reason and I was determined to live my life fully as honour to those that did not survive.  It became part of my own personal philosophy to say "I love you" more without worrying what the response would be.  I tried new things and made a crazy amount of "bucket lists" and starting crossing things off.  I paid respect to the lives lost each anniversary of Septemeber 11th by sitting and listening to each name being read - so thankful that my name was not on that list.  That my morning at the World Trade Centre was scheduled for September 12th.  

I used to hope that one day I would forget the clouds of smoke or the insanity of people hurling themselves out of the trade centers - body parts & random items littering the streets below.  I hoped that I would stop cringing every time loud fire engine and ambulance sirens went past me.  I hoped that I would forget the looks on family members faces searching for their loved ones that night.  I hoped I would forget the fear.  Part of me hoped that one day it would be a distant memory.  

But on Monday, when those bombs exploded and there was chaos everywhere - with injured people everywhere and good people rushing towards them to help - it brought all those feelings back.  Remembering how it felt to be in our hotel rooms that night with every channel broadcasting the horror and wondering if we would wake up.  Wondering if there were bombs underneath us in Grand Central Station or next to us at the UN Building.  Seeing the streets of NYC empty except for armed guards with very large weapons.  And I realized I will never forget - it will always be a part of me and that's ok.  Because I am survivor and I could not be who I am without having that experience.   New Yorkers rebounded - forever changed - but the city pulled together and eventually regained it's vibrancy.  Boston will do the same.  Marathoners will do the same.  If we can maintain focus on the people who ran toward the explosions to help.  If we can share the stories of people opening their homes to stranded & confused runners.  If we can remember that we are blessed with people who do more acts of kindness than acts of terror.  Hopefully we will all eventually heal from this and move forward remembering that we must do good with our lives.

I made it through the rest of my yoga practice but then in our final shavasana I again could not control my tears as they ran down my face and mixed in with the sweat on my skin, cleansing me of the despair.  It was in that moment I did finally feel at peace and grateful.  And happy.  And alive.  

Maybe that is a total living in a 'care-bear kinda world' thing to say but I've been blessed with my life and that's the way I want to live it.  I want to be Tenderheart bear and Friendship bear and yes maybe even Grumpy bear from time to time in order to remember that though bad things happen, there are so many good people there willing to help.   I admit I got caught up in the feelings of sadness this week, unable to see past the despair and the hatred of this act.  It was overwhelming to remember but now as we see people running in solidarity for the people of Boston and we hear the crowd at the Bruins game sing the National Anthem in unity, I know that hope is stronger than fear.  The people of Boston & the runners of the marathon will carry this with them forever, just as I will carry 9/11 with me forever.  Let us remember that we are all affected by something - we have been broken but we heal.  We have been hurt but we regain strength.  We are charged with task to love each other, help each other and make sure that kindness overshadows evil.  

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written my dear Care Bear friend :) Miss and love you.