Written by Andy Vantrease
“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge”. – Dalai Lama
I used to think that being healthy meant never getting sick, having a bottomless reserve of energy and wearing smiles all day. Especially in today’s landscape of social media perfection and pharmaceutical commercials, we’re made to think if we aren’t beaming with happiness or bouncing off the walls, there is something wrong with us. Oh, and here, a pill can fix it all.
Health is not the absence of illness, but the conscious decision to support your body, your mind, your soul – day in and day out. It’s understanding that there will be days when you will cry, eat ice cream and not leave your bed. There will be days when you are so angry that you could scream, drive far away and never look back. There will be days that you are exhausted beyond belief and can’t fathom another minute of work. You don’t know how you will make it through.
But then the sun comes out, and a new sense of self emerges. Perhaps it’s a new moon with endless possibilities, goals and ambitions, or a full moon when you feel the release of energy that is no longer serving your greater good. A day will come when you can’t stop smiling even if you tried, and you will go around shouting, “Can’t rain on my parade!” You’ll have days when you are radiating love and your body feels young and vibrant with no aches and pains.
And guess what? Those feelings will also fade, back into the cycle, around and around. Everything is temporary and we can’t avoid the darkness no matter how we try. It all belongs – beauty, pain, heartache, ecstasy, love, death, rebirth. It all belongs in our lives because we can’t have one without the other.
The trick, as I see it, is to learn to enjoy the dance.
Let go of expectations and know that each moment is a chance to learn something new. Sometimes you lead and sometimes you follow. You’ll surely trip over your feet many, many times as you’re being spun around and pulled in by different people, experiences and places, all while attempting to remain independent, to find your own rhythm. It’s such a fine line between worlds – staying in your body while simultaneously experiencing everyone and everything. The point is to keep practicing, keep dancing, keep working toward the best version of you.
We’re humans and we’re born with the ability to feel so much (SO MUCH), but we know that pain doesn’t last forever, sickness doesn’t last forever and life in this form doesn’t even last forever. It’s all part of a beautiful dance, and despite what happens, the best thing to do is always come back for one more song.