I’ve read that our feelings are temporary weather, that they fall over us briefly and then move on. Any state that we find ourselves in is finite. In a way, this is comforting. Any kind of difficult emotion is like fog – you have to sit within it for a while, let it wash over you, but try not to breathe it in too much. Accept it for what it is, a visitor.
I read an Instagram caption yesterday from someone I follow, and she said that when she read the novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being, she learnt that there were two types of people in the world: people who were living with lightness, and people who were living with heaviness. She felt like the latter.
When I thought about it, I wondered which one I was. I’ve never felt as if life was an ease, that it was light. I haven’t always travelled with heaviness, but I recognise that I’ve always had a lot to carry, as a deaf person living in a hearing world, as a woman, as someone living with various emotional traumas, anxiety, and occasional spells of depression.
Of course, I’ve also lived a fairly privileged life too. I’ve been able to travel and see parts of the world (granted, mostly Europe and a little bit of America, but still, I’ve been lucky to be able to do that), I’ve been safe from war and persecution, and I have a place to live.
But living with heaviness can be good too. You can appreciate the brightness when it comes, when it breathes joy into life. You see what truly matters, and recognise what a rare thing it is to live a life with meaning. There is an undergrowth of roots in the world, that connects people to each other, that still grows into hope for a better world. Even when everything right now feels heavy. Even when you don’t know for certain what will happen next.
Maybe what I long for, truly, is some kind of peace. Where the heaviness can be put down, even if just for a few hours. The closest I get to that is when I’m transported somewhere in an imaginary world, when I laugh with friends and family, and see something breathtakingly beautiful, like a clear sky full of stars. Nothing bad lasts for ever. We can use what power we have to make something good.
‘Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.’ – Frida Kahlo.
*Based on Grayson Queen’s Somethingist Prompts – Something Temporary.