This time several years ago, I remember everything falling apart. I had a kid in the hospital at the start of an excruciating journey. My heart was shattered and I kept having to remind myself to breathe, lest I forget. I had someone in my corner fighting the hard fight with me, and everything else going well. These things were pure joy.
I remember standing on a rock in my back yard, talking on the phone with my counselor. I remember the smell of aspen leaves all around me, and the chill autumn air, as I stood outside, trying to keep my falling apart away from everyone else.I called her because I couldn't breathe from the crushing hurt and worry and fear, and yet I had happiness creeping in at the edges of my heartbreak. I was balancing on the rock, on my tippy toes, telling her that I couldn't handle feeling joy and pain all jumbled together.
She asked, "Why not?"
As I balanced precariously on the rock, my phone tucked in my shoulder, my arms out to my side in some attempt to do a yoga pose, I told her, "I only like feeling one emotion at a time. I want just joy or just heartbreak. I don't want the edges blurred."