Peace in the Middle

I’m just gonna say it. It’s been a rough little while for me. It has seemed recently like the hits keep on coming, and I’ve been wearing thin. In seasons like these, it can feel like the only thing to do is just tighten your grip on the thread that you are hanging onto, and focus on facing and overcoming one problem at a time. As I’ve been tapping into this mentality, I’ve felt like this metaphorical boxing match has got me to a place of fatigue, both mentally and physically. My stamina was diminishing more and more in between each battle, so I was starting to feel like I might as well just let it all fall apart.

It’s when we are in this place that we often forego self care, leisure, and connection with other people, because we feel that we can’t afford to take our eye off of the ball, or we risk getting smacked in the face; when truly, a slow deep breath, a short walk, a good laugh, a soak in the tub, maybe a nap, can make everything look new.

Over the weekend, a number of senseless tragedies took place throughout our country that have caused all of us to pause, evaluate, and mourn. All of us are compelled to respond in our own way, as we are all once again, desperately and utterly aware, that something has to change.

It’s difficult to be inundated with the media reports, the photos, the stories, and the angry/polarizing political stances that we hurl at each other as we grasp to find a solution… but it also feels like our obligation to continue educating ourselves, taking action, and fighting our way forward in effort to ensure that we have a safer world, and a safer future to live in.

It feels trite for me to compare the minute problems that I am dealing with to the enormity of loss that our country has recently faced – and let me assure you that I recognize the absolute contrast here, but life often speaks to me through unique comparisons like this one.

Weeks ago, I had planned, setup, and finalized a leisurely weekend trip with a friend. At the time, I didn’t know that all hell would break loose in my life after it was set in place. I debated on whether to cancel the trip, and just spend my weekend continuing to try to wittle away at the seemingly endless (and growing) pile of problems in front of me. Instead, I decided to go forward and just breathe, for a whopping 24 hours, in the *middle* of my chaos.

Would the trip had been more fun if I was in a better head space, more rested, loose ends all tied up? I have zero doubt. However, as I found myself getting some friend time in, cheering on my WNBA team (surrounded by the opposing home crowd -*cough*, GO ACES!!!!!), and then finally, standing in the center of the impressive architectural oasis of the Fort Worth Water Garden… I realized (once again), that the time to breathe, renew, and reflect, is not when all problems have been resolved, but rather, that the place for peace is in the middle.

As we all face the difficult challenges of both our personal, and our more broadly connected journeys… I hope that we can continue to remember to find some way back to our center. Our inner peace. For me, that was in a busy stadium, a quiet hotel, and surrounded by the deafening flow of water through the brilliance and work of a fellow artist.

My photos don’t do it justice, but I hope that as you scroll through them, that maybe you can feel the peace that flows through the rippling water, and just maybe that if you close your eyes, you can hear the sound of the water as it falls from stone to stone, and that it will be loud enough to quiet your mind, and bring you peace in the middle as it did for me.