It's the irony of acceptance--that nothing can move forward until you accept the moment you're in, welcome it, even. And, man, that's hard when the moment is so divinely uncomfortable. But what choice have we? There's no escape from ourselves. Well, I suppose there is, but it's expensive--to body, mind, wallet, and soul. And it's not like that kind of drastic escapism isn't short-lived for its high price.
Eventually, whether we like it or not, the bottom rushes up to meet us, and there ain't no avoiding that thud. And when that happens? I think all we can do is find a steady wall to lean on and just sit there. Sit there until it becomes, maybe not normal, maybe not comfortable, but bearable. Bearable becomes routine, and routine allows us to focus on something OTHER than our discomfort.
THAT'S the trick, THAT'S how you know you've "won"--you're able to focus on something other than discomfort. Imagine! The hard work isn't the pain you're in; the hard work is letting that pain in unti...
It's so tempting, isn't it? To just set down your heart and walk away? It's so heavy these days, so full, so cumbersome to haul around and still hold a normal conversation, a normal workday, a normal interaction with those you love. It's so easy to wish for a light and airy rib cage, one that will let you dance the way you used to, breathe the way you used to. There's a longing to once again be mothered, fathered.
But perhaps that's why the heart is suddenly so dense--it is pulling us to earth, gathering us in, returning us to the mother, to the father. It is a cosmic hushing, a warm compress to the forehead, a tucking in of blankets, a pulling of shades, and a whispered hush to rest now. The illness will pass, but we need to gather strength to see it through.
We were not born to be timid. Wary, cautious, sure, depending on the situation--our survival depended on it. But here's the thing--wariness, cautiousness can make us stronger. They can make us braver. They are the first tools we need when we go out into the world, because to feel cautious, to feel vigilant means we are testing ourselves, stretching ourselves, exploring the world--either literally or creatively--we've been set down upon.
But to let timidity creep in, to let it keep us from stepping outside our front doors, is a terrible loss. Timidity is a taker of hostages and if we don't rise up and fight back, then we'll be doomed to the same uninspired view for a very long time.
We so often forget how strong we are. You know why? Because strength is hard--it's hard-won, and it's hard to maintain for extended periods of time. But it's those marathons of strength--the ones that leave us exhausted and in need of long recovery--that we remember best.
Well, of course we don't want to live those again, and of course we think of them with trepidation, in fear of their recurrence. But what we forget is that we have successfully won every day we've lived through--and life ain't for sissies, man. Every single one of us has what we need to get ourselves up, move through our days (to do so gracefully is optional), and to thank both our guides/gods/powers and ourselves for navigating our course once more.
To do anything more, we must first realize that we can do anything.
My superpowers are self-discipline, time management, canceling plans, and cutting to the chase. Not very exciting, I know. Really, I'd be a very boring superhero--my alter ego's costume would smack more of uptight scholar than a sleek and sexy, skintight-and-leather cat woman.
But, you know, you can't help who you are, and you can't project something you're not for very long. On the contrary, it's important to know one's superpowers and to take (a light-hearted) pride in them.
Here's what we can't help: our age, the people we come from, our genetic inheritance, and our past. Yet this is what we worry about far more than most anything else--how we'll hide/explain/ignore them takes up far too much of our valuable resources.
I'm still not comfortable with what I can't control, but what of it? The only solution is to let it go (hardly likely), or to cozy up next to discomfort and persevere anyway.
I always have been a bit of a rebel--let's throw that into the superhero category. I c...
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.
I'm always hesitant to ask for what I need, whether it's more time on a project, for more information, or even for someone to come and unclog my sink. Is this a gender thing? Somehow I doubt it, not universally anyway, but I definitely do feel the pressure of my gender. Either way, I've begun to realize that, for all my brashness and idiosyncrasy and balls-to-the-wall attitude in other areas of my life, in this, I'm cowed and chronically, anxiously timid.
Where does this timidity come from? Certainly it has something to do with self-confidence, something to do with our inherent sense of self-worth. But what's the cart and what's the horse? Who taught us this or, better question, when did we teach ourselves that it's better to be unsure, to be anxious, to be in pain rather than to ask for help?
And why, why do we let those with the power of the answer, of the expertise, belittle or even bully us? Why on earth, and when on earth, did we decide it was okay to allow them to get...
We have compromised our own happiness for so long that we have no idea what it would entail to reinstate it. (I say "we" because surely I'm not alone in this.) It's easy to say you owe no one your happiness, but it's hard to pull yourself from the sticky web of "fitting in," of "people-pleasing," of "going along to get along." We've sacrificed so much, true, but we've done it by chipping away, sometimes by sanding away--losing such small quantities of ourselves over such long periods of time that we hardly noticed the change until we snap under our own sorry weight.
As always, I have no answers, only questions. *Find what makes you happy*--well, easy to say, but for many, many of us, an impossible ask, and a search that leaves us, not energized, but immobile. Immobile with the realization that we don't know ourselves at all, that we've forgotten how to find that pure, sparkly thing that made us who we were to begin with.
We are primed to respond to alarmist news, to gossip, to anything that feeds on fear or anxiety or anticipation. We know this, and yet (and yet!) we fall for it every time. We fall for the dread and we fall into our old litany, and all it means is that we forget to breathe. We forget to remember that we've been here before, and we forget--most of all and most profoundly--how strong we are, how capable, and how often we've heard this song before.