I don't think I'd rather live in a different time. Well. To be honest, I don't think I have the stamina or the energy to wish for another time, to add that kind of dissatisfaction to my days. I'll admit I do miss the days of landlines and answering machines, old-school cable television, the fashion of the mid '90s, and the landscape before social media.
But maybe that's just my age talking.
We forget, in this be-dissatisfied-now, culture how many came before us. I sit at a desk once owned by my mother in college. Next to me is a rocking chair far older than either of us. How rarely I take comfort in the parallel presence of once-owner and object. How rarely I realize my space is inhabited with the warmth, the wisdom, and the blessing of those who have been through far more than I.
This is another post for my fellow princess-and-the-pea folks. I'm told that sensitivity is a gift, that it's what allows me to do what I do. But, you know, I have to ask, at what price? Is it worth the guard and the shields, the extra care with EVERYTHING (food, fragrances, cosmetics, household goods, organics), not to mention the cost (monetary, mental, and physical).
I don't know, but I'll be honest--I wish my buffer, my range, were a bit larger. I wish one indulgence didn't result in days of recovery. I wish I had a little more resilience against the electronic and chemical nature of our modern world. I wish I didn't have to worry so much about what a new innovation will mean for my system. I wish I didn't have to find and keep so many practitioners and experts and appointments on speed dial.
It's our default mode--hoping that each day will be different while assuming (i.e. BELIEVING) that each will be the same (i.e. dull, bad, difficult, pointless, etc.). In this way of learned beliefs, growing up is a travesty. It robs us of that ability to wonder, FOR wonder. It teaches us that everything is hard--not only that, it teaches us that everything is of panic-level importance.
But guess what--everything is NOT hard and everything is NOT important. Some stuff just IS--it's neither good nor bad, difficult or easy. It just IS. And other things? They're marvelous--more often than not (Yes! MORE often than not), as long as we leave ourselves alone long enough to realize it.
Our strident inner taskmaster is learned behavior. And you know, we don't even need to un-learn it. We just need to forget it. To shrug it off. To invoke teenage rebellion against ourselves and invite in the little things--singing too loudly, dancing a little too wildly (or dancing at all, come to think of it),...
It's amazing the work we make for ourselves, isn't it? Especially when it would be so breathtakingly easy simply to watch the rising sun and take it as the sign that it is--that you're headed in the right direction, that every day you spend stepping toward, leaning into, the light is a day of progress.
There are no wasted days--even those spent fumbling around in shadows of our own making. There is always something to learn. There is always something to uncover, to discover, or to give--at long last--a decent burial.
Light and shadow teach us that there are some things best left behind and others necessary for the journey.
We are so lovely, and what's heartbreaking is how rarely we realize it. Loveliness has nothing to do with age or genetics, products or clothing, size or stature. We are nature and essence, mineral and bone, color and light. We change with time, moment to minute to decade, and that transition is poetry, artistry. And if we can live the transitions? Actually reside in our impermanence, celebrating its ephemerality, well, we are unstoppable blazes of pure energy, and there is nothing more beautiful or more inspiring, than the awareness of abundance, and the possibility of constant creation and re-creation.
Imagine if we could plot our lives like we plot our road trips, our commute to work, our drive home with a stop at the grocery store/bank/post office.
Well, you know what? I think we do. I think we do, and I think we're a danger to ourselves and others because we don't realize we're doing it. We don't realize (or remember) that every thought we have, every intention, every conversation we hold with ourselves is drawing a line on the map, and it's a map we're following faithfully, whether we know it or not.
Here we are, one eye glued to the route, and one turned stubbornly inward with nothing left to watch where we're going, to look at the scenery, to see what we're missing--or avoiding. We have no idea where the trip-enhancing turn-offs are (WORLD'S BIGGEST BALL OF STRING HERE!), no idea where the breathtaking scenic overlook is because we miss every sign. Or almost every sign. Enough, anyway, to realize how rarely we look up, how rarely we stop, how rarely we rest our gaze on the...
I already know how little I need to be happy, to be peaceful (in fact, less equals more room for peace). But it's so easy to focus on material stuff, because it's there. You can hold it, donate it, reform it, recycle it.
But what about the other stuff? The preconceptions, the judgments, the expectations, the anxieties, the uncertainties? We don't have to expect the worst, but we so often do (I so often do), because that's the default, just like it's the default to buy a bigger/better house/car/wardrobe with a step up in income.
But there's no rule telling us we *have* to define our lifestyle by a generous paycheck. Nor do we have to let our fears and cynicism ruin the simple structure of our days.
I don't know how many times I've told myself that I was just going to start asking for what I want/need, and not say yes (or no) when I didn't want to, not make promises I couldn't keep, or redefine the truth to make myself fit in.
Well, now I'm not only telling myself, I'm telling those...
I woke up this morning and decided, for no reason I can understand, to write about love. And then my thought ended there.
Maybe it's because I'm feeling too exhausted to channel any inspiration (although, it might be said that a sleepy mind is quite likely the perfect instrument to come up with something more true than not).
Okay. Here's the thing: I go to bed early and get up by 5 a.m. every morning, not because I have to, but because I like to. I don't care what anyone else's habits are, but I will tell you this--I don't like to be teased about mine. I never have. Maybe if I were a less self-conscious person, then it wouldn't phase me. But after all this time? I think self-consciousness and I are wedded for the long-run.
What on earth has this to do with love? I don't know, except this--I've known unconditional love only a handful of times in my life, and this, for me, is the deciding factor: with that person, you will never feel self-conscious. Which is saying a l...
Even breathing, we are art. We are a collection of found objects, curated treasures, unique imperfections, long lines, and daring curves. Even uninspired, we are inspiring--if we'll allow ourselves the luxury of belief, the all-too-necessary food of faith.