Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Sweet Emotion March 11, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:25 pm
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It can literally happen in the blink of an eye. It certainly did today, countless times. In one moment, a joyous and bubbly giggle fills the air of my forever home. In the next, one of the world’s happiest sounds is replaced by a soul-crushing scream of anguish.

I do find it happening a bit more frequently lately, with all the teething going on around here. I think that’s what led to the roller coaster of emotions I witnessed today, with the tears and the giggles somehow creating a symphony of emotional reality. Teething is not our friend

As dear baby Carter approached bed time, a time when he should have been pretty tired after not napping at all today, he exuded energy. And as I watched him run through the house with his bare legs hanging out (because his pants had already gotten changed twice, and it was warm enough for such silliness again today), squealing with joy, I couldn’t help it. Somehow that moment seemed to erase all the other not so happy ones scattered randomly throughout the day from my mind.

I realized, as the squeals evolved into more of a squeal/laugh combination, that is the magic of this emotional dichotomy. We all experience it in our daily life, but time has a way of training us to keep it inside. Time has yet to do that to Carter, who literally wears his heart on his (usually blueberry-stained) sleeve. So he laughs and cries and questions and thinks and laughs and cries some more (all in the span of 30 seconds) in a very public way.

Google SearchingThough it pains me to experience sometimes, I’m thankful to frequently bear witness to the emotional roller coaster ride of toddlerhood. Because it can literally happen in the blink of an eye. Laughter can become tears that quickly.

But, even better, tears can become laughter that quickly. And that’s life. Things have a way of happening that can sometimes take us by surprise. They can rock the emotional boat enough to completely change the tide. Taking control of the boat and immediately turning it back the right way? That’s a life worth living.

 

Between Here and There October 25, 2014

Here and there. Now and then. Before and after. Give and take. If dichotomy lives, it comes alive in the everyday opposites we come across in life.

A friend of mine, Christine, recently came face to face with one of the very hardest of these to encounter. Life and death. From the ground up, it doesn’t get any bigger than that. Her dear grandmother passed away a few days ago, and she said the time she spent with her leading up to her eventual passing was incredibly eye-opening.Eyes on the Prize

It was restorative. Invigorating. And incredibly sad. Loss of an important life is never easy, after all. But the silver lining is the lesson in this particular dichotomy. Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu suggested that “life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.”

Though it doesn’t happen in all cases, in this case there was time for people involved to contemplate the reality of that very thread and reexamine how they see it in their own lives. That was the case for dear Christine, who said she reevaluated how precious and fragile life is in those last few days with her beloved grandmother.

She found peace and joy in her prayers and meditation. She cried, but found renewal in her tears.

Because there is this thing about here and there. Now and then. Before and after. Give and take. And even life and death.

 

These are the things that make us feel more alive. Together, they restore our faith, not just in whatever religion we chose to follow, but in humanity itself. And faith is a might powerful thing. With faith, sometimes when you’re here and there you’re right where you need to be.