It All Goes Together

It all goes together. The flowering seasons that are Spring and Summer. The falling seasons that are Autumn and Winter.

Fifteen or so years ago, a friend and I were talking. It was someone that I have much respect for, and that has been an important guide for me many times.

We were talking about how the mix of joys and sorrows live simultaneously. Having a great meal together, resting in the satisfaction of it. And then learning that a tree has fallen, blocking the road and needs clearing. Or seeing the unrestrained joy in a toddler grandchild, and then learning the next day that a dear friend has passed.

“It all goes together,” my friend shared with me. “All of this life lives at the same time, whether in us or in others.”

I have found this “all together” notion an important reminder many times in my own maturing. It’s not, after all, about infusing or obligating doom to a joy-filled moment, nor is it about supplanting real and needed grief with protective sugar. The sorrows and the joys all go together.

For many years now, I’ve been learning to live into the whole of it, into the whole of all of it. We don’t all live in the same phase of life nor circumstance. Of course not. Yet behind many varied life realities lives this essence and principle — it all goes together. I’m glad for those in my life that have guided me with such clarity.

It’s generally not personal — the world surely is out to get us — when something goes wrong. A tree in the road is a tree in the road. Nor when we are tired from many days and nights of utter focus. Tired is tired. The phrase that helps me so often includes acknowledgement — “I am tired; except when I’m not.” It gives me room to welcome the energized in me — it all goes together — “I’m energized; except when I’m not.”

True for joy also. The puppy playing is the puppy playing. The sun rising is the sun rising. How sweet to welcome the joy that lives in the moment, without fear or a need to deny, that sorrow also lives. It always has.

I seek a life that integrates all of this together. Not as an overdone protection. Rather, as a way of continuing to mature and practice wise and kind living. Within myself. With others. With circumstance.

On a Monday morning, sun now rising (an hour earlier thanks to Daylight Savings Time), and with all of this refreshed desire to live in the wholeness of it, these journaled words also arose from the sun within my writer’s heart.

I am this human that I am.
Alive in learning
and feeling.

I am this human that I am.
Alive in struggle
and hurt.

I am this human that I am.
Alive with friends
and love.

I am this human that I am.
Alive with disappointments
and missteps.

I am this human that I am.
Alive in this body
and in this day.

Maybe that is all that there is,
all of it together.

And then I smiled to think of my friend and this conversation that so many of us venture to live together.

One Reply to “It All Goes Together”

  1. “I seek a life that integrates all of this together.”

    So do I.

    Thank you for naming this with artful grace. It is a theme that is arising on many fronts for me … the organic mix of sorrow and joy.

    A member of our church died on Thursday after a long and torturous illness. A baby was baptized on Sunday on All Saints Day. Same church. And the husband of the woman who died came to celebrate the baptism of the child. We can be together with both. Individually, yes, and also as a community.

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