Remember those inexpensive, little kaleidoscopes you used as a child? In my case, I generally found them in the gift shop of wherever our field trip happened to be that day, or they were a small gift in a goodie bag from a birthday party. You would hold it up to your eye and turn it to watch what the brightly-colored bits of plastic or beads would do, the colors and shapes shifting into various explosions of pattern reflected multifold within the tiny mirrors inside.
Some of these patterns delighted me, seeming to represent flowers or bursts of fireworks, and representing joy and happiness. Some were a bit more menacing, and might give the impression of a monstrous creature, sparking fear and trepidation. Still others were simply shapeless and unappealing, causing nothing more than a desire to quickly move on to find the next pleasant design that may appear.
Grief and healing has made itself known to me much like a kaleidoscope of emotions. One day, one hour, one minute, my world will be a beautiful array of light and color, when suddenly, a slight shift will cause it to tilt and become dark and ominous.
While part of me wants those beautiful moments to remain suspended forever, the other part of me trusts that there is an even brighter moment waiting for me, if I am only willing to endure the gloom for awhile. I still believe that other part of me more, which is why I choose to keep moving and keep turning my kaleidoscope, waiting for the pieces to shift into a thing of beauty once again.
That’s not to say it’s easy. That’s not to say there aren’t those days when I want nothing more to stay in bed, covers hiked over my head and will the world to just go away already. That’s not to say there aren’t days when I simply feel I no longer have the strength or the fortitude to knowingly keep moving when I will likely encounter some type of kaleidoscopic demons around any given corner.
But it is exactly those days, those hours, those moments when it is most important to keep going. It’s far too easy to get sucked into despair, but that’s not the life I want. (Granted this was not the life I chose, either, but now that it is my reality, I choose to not stay miserable for the rest of it if I can help it, if that makes any sense.)
There will be dark days. There will be moments of despair. I will feel sad, and bitter, and angry and lonely. But, God willing, I will also witness blessings. I will experience joy. I will love and be loved. And each tiny shard of my kaleidoscope will continue to rearrange itself through its full range of emotions as I continue to seek the beauty of life. It’s always there, if we only choose to look.
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