And I can't let that go, despite opening my hands and exhaling deeply time and time again since that Tuesday on the mat. Though I am, for now, in a period of relative calm in my life, my spirit is troubled for those I love who are not. Whether their changes are positive or neutral, permanent or transient, I am losing sleep. I pray for them and wonder what it looks like to be a good friend-- to love well-- when I dislike the circumstances, when they're not what I think I'd choose.
Love is patient and kind. But is it always silent? Does it always wait to be asked? Does it try to protect, or does it stand by and wait? These answers remain unclear to me. Love is hard. If it does, in fact, endure all things, I guess it had better be. And that I ought to be grateful for that. But it's also messy, and lately I have trouble seeing the beauty through it, though I know it's there. And I struggle to stay put, to keep walking alongside, to be still and sit, in and through the tension when what I'd rather do is run and hide.
Frustrated, I wondered for days why I consistently misrepresent my heart this way. I am its worst ambassador. I regularly betray it and the people I love. My wondering brought me back to the question on the mat, to whether I was clenching anything in my hands that I could let go.
I'm not called to try to control outcomes or prevent heartache. I'm called to love. And the truth is, I think control would be easier than standing by and pledging to do so no matter the outcome. Regardless of whether my fears are well founded, and especially if they are.
I've been fearful, grasping for control of what isn't mine anyway, and all it's done is drive my loved ones from me. Because no one wants to be told what to do, but everyone wants to be loved.
My body is prone to inflammation. It's what has driven me to drastically alter my diet in the last couple of years. That, coupled with exercise, keeps me feeling well most of the time. But I get these flare ups of pain-- sometimes for a couple days, sometimes for a couple weeks-- and I can't control them and I can't predict them. All I can do is try to endure them with grace. I've had pain intermittently for a few weeks now, pain I can't explain away or relieve. Mostly, it affects my wrists. Each day I treat them as gingerly as I can when my hands are always full.
I try not to read too much into it. But since I don't actually believe in coincidence, not really, I can't help but wonder if the pain exists, this time, as a physical reminder: to open my hands, to stop grasping and clenching, to let go of what isn't mine to hold.