Two years ago today, I experienced the saddest day of my life. It was a day I will never forget and a situation I hope no one else ever has to live through. Alternatively, eight years ago tomorrow, I experienced the happiest day of my life. It too was a day I will never forget, but in this case I truly wish everyone has a chance to feel the love that surrounded me on that day back in 2004.
Any time a juxtaposition of extreme emotions is compacted into a turbulent timeframe, it creates a great deal of internal tension for us. For me, these 48 hours embody a great conflict. I consistently find myself questioning the appropriateness of my feelings. How can I be simultaneously happy about this one thing and so very sad about this other thing? Why am I letting this cloud of negativity cast its dark shadow on my brilliant memories of pure joy? In all honesty, I don’t have the answers.
What I do have, though, is a vital macro-view of this 48-hour window — the ability to step back and analyze its essence. Through this window, I see the ebb-and-flow of the universe captured in a sort of time-lapse. This juxtaposition shows me the importance of mindful balance and non-attachment. It shows me that lives can be irreversibly altered in an instant and that nothing in this life is permanent. It wrangles up and presents to me the complete spectrum of all the possible feelings and emotions that exist in this world. It swallows me in an ocean of thought where tides bring and take without judgement.
This juxtaposition has taught that the past and the future do not exist. There is only this moment; there is only now. Nothing more and nothing less. Realizing this, I’ve learned to cherish every waking moment. I drink in my surroundings and live fully and completely in the present. I hold my friends and family close, and make sure they know I love them.
Only by living this way can I weather the most violent of juxtapositions and remain in a place of complete peace.