Most of us do something that frightens us every day--sometimes getting out of bed is daunting enough. But how often do we attempt to tackle something that frightens us straight to the core of who we (think we) are? I reckon, for me at least, it ain't that often. You can't be brave without being frightened, and I consider myself pretty brave for someone who *really* enjoys a good comfort zone.
But yesterday I did a thing that frightened me so much, I wasn't sure how I would navigate, not only the rest of my day, but the rest of my days. Perhaps that sounds dramatic, but for me, it most certainly was.
So. There are levels of bravery and levels of scary things and I think we must judge this journey on our own merits. No one is doing this living for us--everything we feel, everything we navigate, if it's true to us, it's legitimate. Don't let anyone downplay or belittle your achievements. You are one fierce warrior and your journey is nothing but epic.
I was going to start this post by saying, "there are some comforts we can't live without." And then I thought, what? Who says? Who says we should eschew comfort and why? Granted, I'm not talking about wasteful comfort--driving bigger cars than we need to bigger houses than we need, etc.
No, this isn't about waste--we know what waste is and don't need to be told. I'm talking about need. I'm talking about everything we've given up because someone told us it wasn't good or right or perfect for us, and because we're good people, we gave it up, and then spent the rest of every subsequent day wondering what (and for whom) we were doing without for. You know? There is so much I miss and have been missing and I think I'm ready, at this belated age, to start living for myself and for my own good.
It's funny really--we've been followers for so long, I'm not sure we even know who's up there leading us. Or maybe we do, but it's become habit--following trends, people, fashion. We've forgotten that maybe we weren't the ones who made these choices, that maybe they were made for us and we just shrugged and nodded and kept up our slow shuffle.
Well. I think it's high time this follower, at least, put down the map and started charting by her own stars.
I have come to the belated realization that we are far too hard on ourselves and that our expectations of ourselves are monstrously, disastrously high.
At least, I've found this true for myself. Not to impose my own discoveries onto you, petals, but I have a feeling you do the same? And how often do we meet these expectations? And what on earth made us set them in the first place? We wake up every morning at a deficit with no way to catch up.
Well, the good news is, if we set them, we can un-set them. From here, my only expectation--no. No expectations. From here, my only WISH for myself is that I find light and ease and delight in this day. But no matter what, may whatever happens amount to a certain kind of joy. And may that joy be redefined daily or hourly or by the minute, depending on my needs and the fluctuations of the day.
This is my new mantra: It can only get better. Knowing what we know now, it can only get better. Given the information and the energy and the assets we have at hand at this very moment, it can only get better.
I don't care what the past was like--I don't care how marvelous or how tedious, from this moment it can only get better.
No matter what your doubts, no matter what your hesitations, from this moment forward, with what you have at your disposal and all the power you possess, it can only get better.
I don't know if we can ever truly separate ourselves from the damage done to us by the media, by its loudly projected expectations. And I'm not sure we can ever really forgive ourselves for giving into it, for compromising our health and safety and sanity for so long. And while we can see what it does to us--that devotion, not to gods, but to demons--there's a small, persistent voice that whispers, 'yes, but still...'
All we can do, I think, is stamp our feet and make some noise, drowning out that nagging voice which, I think (I hope) will grow weaker by day. We're in this together, petals--that's a lot of foot-stomping, and a heck of a lot of noise.
If even empty space can tell us something about what's gone before, what might yet come to pass, and give us a sense of time and place, then surely there must be an argument for hope and faith where there was maybe only darkness before.
We are too wrapped up in our own stories, sometimes, to see beyond the narrative we're feeding ourselves. Perhaps it's time we all got a little space.
We worriers will probably never stop worrying (more's the pity), but what we can learn is that MOST of these worries never come to pass. Over time, that's proven to us, and eventually we can acknowledge, then dismiss our worries based on the very real experience of their dire predictions never manifesting. It's like an itch, or the nagging feeling that you haven't locked the door when you very clearly remember doing it. Eventually, I think, we ignore them, distract our minds with something else, and they'll go away.
And wouldn't that, in the middle of a sleepless night, be a relief?
Now is the time to invite in magic. The spring equinox, for me, is the true new year--and after this particularly long winter, I say we write our own rules. I say we dictate what can and cannot be our reality. I'm sick to death of fear and of cowering before each day, before it's even begun.
When did we get to be so frightened? When did we decide that we weren't made for a happy life? I don't know, but I'm worn to the bone, and I could use a new year and a little magic.