Chasing the Sun: Learning to navigate unexpected pain

There’s no easy way to tackle the unfortunate situation when we are greeted with an unexpected turn of events. Sometimes it’s happens as a perfectly sequenced string of tragedies or it invades as a huge slap in the face. No matter how it happens, there’s a universal point that leads us to surrender our hands up before immediately coupling them over our eyes. As adults, we spend a large majority of our lives trying to avoid the too-close-for-comfort sensations that arise when we are reduced to the basic suffering of humanity. Those that leave us sprawled on the ground questioning how, why, and when to get up. Sometimes being rooted into the earth is more comforting than chasing the sun.

imagesThe sun is way too bright and enthusiastic when we’ve been drenched in stress, pain, and sorrow. The dark layers of hardship can bury us deep into our hearts and mind when we get lost in the cycles of negative self-talk. So how do we confront the most unexpected moments, where you recognize that your reality is not the reality of those around you; where existence feels fleeting. Somehow, we deal. As adults, we learn to deal with what is in front of us. In my case, I was greeted with the harsh news that I was not loved the way I loved another. My deep desire to cultivate an intentional and powerful relationship was just temporary proxy for his fixed idea of simplicity.

I have spent many years drafting my self-help novel of how to live an authentic partnership. We all have our own versions, sometimes a series containing many volumes. Mine was a story intended to become a timeless classic, you know the one with the back cover half ripped and the pages unraveling from the core (yet you refuse to get rid of it year after year).

At the infamous climatic chapter where true love is expected to unveil, there was a twist in my story where genuine love, the one that takes vulnerability and breeds lasting connection, was undermined by the villain. And now my well-crafted non-fiction novel of “how to” remains a fictional fantasy of “dream on.”

The most difficult part about this turn in the story is the blank pages that follow. I thought I was on my way to catch my dreams amongst the stars; I had my partner who could defend the evil of life with me. Rather, he in turn was the villain testing my strength as the resilient protagonist. So I’m back to being chained to the earth, shackled by defeat.

It’s tempting to want to kick my feet in a tantrum raging to somehow will the chains away. But the truth is that if I absorb the earth around me, get dirty in the muck surrounding my heart, the hurt transforms to acceptance and clarity. Instead of going to old stories that I am trapped or lost, I choose to chase the sun.

I chase the sun, using the light to stay open, gentle, and full. The sun becomes my mentor to imagesfostering the fire within and embodying the ability to warm others’ hearts utilizing empathy. I practice. I go to my mat. I go within. I remain open, gentle, full

And unexpectedly, the sun’s power brightens the way to resolution, to partnership, to grace. The unexpected moments that impacts us so deeply that we close us off magically brew the courage we need to chase the sun. I choose to chase the sun with relentless curiosity in an exploration to fill the blank pages of my own story: open, gentle, and full.


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