We are not separate from anything, yet we are entirely unique to everything. Does that give us special compensation to do as we please when we please? Of course not. We may be an integral part of this system, but we know damn well (or should know, anyway) that it can get on just fine without us.
But, at our best, at our most hopeful, at our most joyous, we are a delightful and necessary addition to the radiance of the world. We are makers and creators, caretakers and admirers. We are the audience and the actors. Our delight in this world is what makes the bloom and the decay so heartrendingly beautiful and these brief lives so very poignant.
So go on with your sweet self--keep the heart open, the eyes open, and delight in every moment you can. That delight is as necessary to peace, as necessary to harmony as any laying down of arms and stepping back from the line.
I don't think it counts as dangerous or wishful thinking to change where you stand in order to shift your view. We are sensory creatures, after all, and if a glimpse of sky, of water has the power to change our day, then why not a different take on our particular you-are-here moment?
It's not about sticking one's head in the sand. On the contrary--it's about yanking it out, blinking away the grit, and looking around for a view from which we can take stock, weigh options--or do nothing at all--in peace and maybe a little joy.
Instead of thinking, oh, I'm a mess, this is a mess, think instead, what a wonderful riot of color, of texture, of shape and of circumstance. How can these pieces come together, layer upon layer, to create this rich and complex life?
What happens when we shift into thinking creatively--whether or not we consider ourselves creative beings?
Spoiler alert: we are creative--we are makers down to our DNA. What do you think our ancestors did with their hands? Built houses, cooked food, created quilts and clothing, gardens and roads. They did it because they must, of course, but they also took the time to make objects more beautiful than they had to be.
That maker-art is still in us, singing its pattern of memories into our blood, waiting for us to pick up the tune.
Everything that we collect, everything that we intersect, has a purpose. Is that truth? I have no idea, but I think, for the sake of sanity, for the sake of putting one foot in front of the other, I choose to take it as truth.
And if I can adjust my filters so that what remains only does so to serve my highest good, then I think I might be able to let the rest slip away, to bury itself in sweet earth and decompose, ready to feed whatever's next.
I'm not a planned-surprise kind of girl, necessarily. I've never coveted a secret surprise birthday party or an elaborate proposal of marriage, that sort of thing.
But oh how I dearly love coming across the unexpected--a far-flung friend, randomly, at the airport; a bird's nest in an unused corner of the barn; a waterfall that wasn't on the map of my hike; good news; eagles flying overhead on my commute to work; or a giant pileated woodpecker in the backyard while I make breakfast.
Perhaps I'm very boring, but I like to know what's coming, what's next. I would never, however, opt for security if it meant I could no longer be astonished in my days or, to borrow a phrase from C.S. Lewis, surprised by joy.
Beauty is not exclusive to youth, and while I think this is something we're accepting as mainstream, we seem to believe that we can't maintain the old arbitrary standard without a lot of work. And I wonder, if that's the case, is it worth it? Is the label itself worth the time, the effort, the money, the advertising-induced psychological damage?
They're trying to sell us something we've owned since our first breath. Our definition, were we given time to formulate one before being invaded by theirs, would most likely look quite different. Gone would be the agony of comparison and, in its place, the peace of that same reaction that arises when unexpectedly coming across a field of wildflowers, a forest clearing, a glacier-arranged assortment of rocks, a waterfall.
Nature does not hurry or worry or agonize over this bit or that. It adapts. It takes its time, and it puts on the best show it can, for its own survival, with what it's got that season--wind, sun, rain, early fro...
I feel like I've been phoning it in with the Satyas lately. Not that they're any less true, any less sincere, any less born of a moment, but that, maybe, I haven't been fully present.
This morning, for some reason, I decided to call myself out on my perceived slacking, when I realized both the futility and the unfairness of whatever chastisement I had set up in my head. That small, cowering bit that so rarely stands up for herself finally spoke up--Hey! I was here. I showed up. I lived the moment as it was handed to me and I did the work. What else do you want?
And, you know, I couldn't help but give a small cheer for that small soul--she finally found her voice, and she is finally unafraid to use it.
However you show up today, know this: you're here. You've arrived. And today? That's more than enough.
You don't need to dust off your passport or you old road-trip mixtape in order to breathe a little life into your sense of adventure. Truly--it can be something as simple as sitting in a different chair at breakfast, parking in a different space at work. We entrench ourselves in our habits--not that routine isn't stabilizing, not that it isn't healthy--but there can be an unhappy limit to how far we push our patterns.
We forget that the world looks like an entirely different place from a slightly different angle. This is one of the joys of living in a 360-degree world--we have options and those options, even in the small capsules of our days, are endless.
I think, in order to reset our filters, we have to redefine 'whole,' redefine 'enough.' Heck, never mind our filters, we need to reset our sanity threshold, get through our days without wondering where we went/will go wrong, wondering where we should make changes, be better, go bigger, do more.
We have no idea what a normal expenditure of energy looks like, never mind feels like. So what is enough? When is enough? And how tired do we have to get before we raise our white flag in surrender?
Today--an experiment. This is enough. You are enough. You are whole, and you are exactly where you need to be, in this moment, for your journey onward into bliss.