Life is a continuing journey of ups and downs. Knowing where we are on our journey allows us to navigate life more smoothly. This doesn’t mean we won’t have any up or downs; it means, like rock climbers, we need to know how to navigate our paths. Although often unpopular, even the "downs," or negative incidences, have their purpose. Awareness of emotions, helps me to face serious changes and hurdles in my life and avoid going to emotional extremes. Much like bumps in the road that alert us to get back into the correct lane, negative emotions and pain can bring the same awareness.
My Grandmother's death was a hard process for me. She was always the optimist, a lover of life, and a force to be reckoned with. She was the Queen of her castle. Her house was always full of people and the positive energy she generated. Initially, I viewed her dying as a thing that was wrong. It was not until I could accept her death -- not as right or wrong -- but simply as what is that I could recognize the circumstances as anything positive. As long as her death was viewed by me as wrong, I suffered in stories I told myself of how unfair it was for her to be taken from me. I had many thoughts of what I wouldn’t have any more... thoughts of... ME. In actuality, my mourning had nothing to do with my grandmother -- who had been shut away from most of the world for a couple of years and then bedridden for many months. My mourning, and quite frankly, my lack of acceptance and negative energy, had everything to do with me. It was not until I accepted my current circumstances and my resulting emotions that I was able to see my grandmother passing the patriarchal baton to me.
My emotions directly relate to the story I create for myself based on what I observe, the past I recall, and the future I assume. Knowing that my emotions are based on my story, I can actively change my emotional state. Thinking of my grandmother not laughing with me anymore brought me sadness. However, realizing that it is my turn -- to laugh with the next generation, as she did with me allowed me to transform that sad emotion to joy. My current circumstances no longer dictated how I should feel inside, but rather, being present to my emotions and accepting of my circumstances allowed me to make better decisions and generate calmer, more positive energy. Like mountain climbers forging a path up an uncertain terrain, we navigate our life’s path with greater success where there are calm and thoughtful movements.