Sometimes the night seems made for catastrophic thinking, but if we can get some sleep--even a little--things are brighter, they shift, in the morning. Sometimes, true, only marginally so, but there's a pocket of paranoia and of panic that only exists in the deep night. Blessedly, most times it turns us out in the morning as if to say, 'See? You've seen the worst--now go and be grateful.'
Maybe that's all it wants--a little gratitude for its boot camp-style preparedness tactics. Either way, after these nights, it's with more heart that we welcome the light.
It's not instinctual anymore, self-love. Maybe it was, at one point, if we were very lucky and had a good and loving childhood, but that so quickly falls away in the world. But I don't see why we can't reclaim it, why we couldn't speak more slowly, more sincerely, and with more kindness than our mind's relentless undercutting.
Eventually, I do hope that we'd believe the soft, still voice that's been telling us all along just how lovely we are.
We are already perfect and we should not only ask for happiness, for completeness, but we should expect it. That's what I'm trying to relearn. I'm trying to remember that every thought makes a difference, whether in healing or in destroying ourselves. I have to believe we can (re)make our reality.
How long have you been settling? How long have you been squinting at the text, protesting that yes, yes, this light is sufficient? And when did "sufficient" become good enough? When did "sufficient" become the end point, the goal?
Well. I don't quite know how to go about it, but I'm pretty sick of "sufficient," of settling. I'm pretty tired of squinting at the text, making out every other word, and calling that good enough, calling that a life.
There is such harmony here, the more we can breathe together, sing together, laugh together. I was just thinking the other day that I have no idea how long it's been since I really laughed--the gasping for air, tear producing kind of laughter. Years, maybe. And that is such a loss, because I think it's indicative of the weight of the times in which we live. Laughter is generally a group activity, and I don't see many of us with energy to spare these days.
So it seems to me that we ought to make that kind of energy a priority around here--more music, more laughter, and ease off the heaviness anywhere we can. We ought to be here for more than our own survival.
When we restrict our own growth, unintentionally, by habit, we don't realize how constricted, how constrained we've become. We don't realize how much we've inadvertently crippled ourselves, cramming our feet into routines whose purpose we've long forgotten.
So. Isn't about time for a transplant? And if all that space feels frightening at first, no matter--it's space we'll soon grow into.
Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it.
I can't tell you how many of the most painful moments in my life were buoyed by the poetry of Mary Oliver. I can't tell you how many of the happiest moments, most revealing moments of my life were spent reading her poetry. She inspired me to write in the first place, and she inspires me to get up and write every morning.
You can tell your story in any way that feels true to you. And if nothing feels true? Tell it in a way that makes you the hero of your own life--stronger, braver, cleverer than you give yourself credit for. There is magic here, there must be. There is so much power in words and so much destruction in the way we talk to ourselves.
Surely we owe these sweet bodies the benefit of the doubt.