"I've got to find my serenity," I thought for the 15th time today, emotions crowding out thoughts which were chaotic anyway, as I bent over to pick up a bit of paper on the floor. But as I stood back up the thought came to me unbidden: "No, I need to breathe and accept what is right here right now. Chasing serenity isn't going to help."
That put the brakes on a whole lot of random thoughts floating through my head, and I started in amazement as that simple truth unfolded within me. My job isn't to be serene, it is to be present, and running after peace isn't any more peaceful than running after fame or fortune or the next high; it's all still just running.
So I am trying to be here now. And right here right now is a hard place to be. It's the 43rd birthday of my beloved David, and the 6th I will mark without him here. It's one of those hard days, the kind that's always going to be a hard day. I am grateful for the amazing beauty he brought to my life and bereft at his absence and aware that something of him is always with me, all at the same time. This is right here right now, not some cool serenity that moves gently and peacefully through my heart. Right here right now I am heartsick and sad, and so I will be heartsick and sad without trying to run away from it. I will breathe and I will be and the serenity will return or it won't. It's not my job to figure it out.