Updated: Jan 31, 2019
It's reflection Wednesday and on this day, I consider some changes..., fearlessness, trust, and courage on my mind.
We all want lives that are just so, right?
Growing up, I thought I was the only one with an anxious disposition that required perfection in all things. Imagine my utter disbelief when I first of all found out that a) human beings are not perfect and b) human beings can never be perfect. As elementary as this may seem, it was an utter shocker for me. As if that was not a sufficient bubble buster, I also came alive to the very saddening truth that appearance was held in higher esteem than the inner state of being. Do not get me wrong, there are many times when we need to maintain composure in order to see a thing more clearly but it is quite another to just not deal or to negligently smother ourselves in denial and all manner of rationalising to avoid sitting with our own self.
I woke up to the world of the silently dying.
As a little girl growing up, I honed the skill of listening intently and trusting all I was told. I credit this to my lovely parents who shared with me a safe and nurturing environment in which we were able to discuss our realities. I never got the impression that my parents needed to lie to me for any reason at all. We spoke freely about what was on our minds and tried to help each other to resolve those things that tried to take away our peace. It still ruffles me to deal with someone who is not being truthful or honest without evident reason.
Our home, though full of people, young and old, for as long as I can remember, was always one where peace was a guarded treasure. From my father's insistence that we dare not touch his immaculately organised coffee table, to my mother's huge and free, giant bursts of laughter echoing through the home, we were taught the essence of freedom in safe spaces. This experience shaped my experience of joy, comfort, trust, and being.
Now, in my thirties, that I am meeting life in the realest sense there could be. Away from the comforting protection of family, and in the thrust of having to raise my own.
I realise today, a few things that had I known sooner, I would have jumped on and taken the bullet train to the life of a better daughter, mother, sister, friend.
1. Everyone is searching and No one knows it all: The best way to describe this is ... everyone is walking the most unique path that even if you tried, your efforts to copy and paste from another's path would alter your own successes a million times over! Not only would you be so far from any jo or contentment but you would also live an empty and confusing life. And yet, right from birth, we are conditioned to take in the world around us and never the one inside of us.
So we have a large population looking to the other for solution while the journey, beginning to end, is already mapped within your little baby soul like a fun treasure hunt. The finds of this great game of life are dependent on our reaction to the find and they remain with us as we grow. This has never been truer to me to recognise than when I had children of my own. The mega conflict of my own desires over very pure and strongly stated baby decisions was a process I still learn from. Part of being mom I have since understood, is watching keenly and going with as much of that life you can lovingly nurture and support in the life God has blessed you with.
So in doing life, now, I recognise that only the combination of me and this beautiful planet; cues of wonder and laws of nature combined with my spirit, are the pathway I need to right choices. I needn't say how much resistance such a life may summon... the need for fearlessness here becomes paramount. In search for inner peace, there will be other voices, always. I find that practicing fearlessness in these times helps to get through to the next and higher round of life's experience.
2. Religion and Sectarianism stifle growth: In fact, any type of narrow minded and strict acceptance of doctrines without understanding them is a huge deal in our parts these days. Masses are merely conditioned through belief systems and structures without ever experiencing the love, life, grace, and mercy they learn about. It is no wonder then that the same religions professing God will condemn and shun other races, peoples, and cultures. The innate need for belonging as human beings has driven the world's population to some truly insane things. What are known as cults in some places are accepted as moderate in others and so on. In my own experience, Religion attempts to explain the whole world and I now know this is not possible. We can only add to what we learn, discover, and find in our world and along our journeys but we cannot know all things. That space is reserved for the Creator.
As such, I have in recent times felt the freedom and grace to release myself from the 'knowing' corner into the 'seeking to understand' corner. From where I sit, I see people, myself inclusive, waking up to live for something, to be someone. If it is not recognition, it is love and affection. We are all searching and learning is best done in spaces that offer acceptance first. I am working on my trust in that which I have and no one else came to this earth with. I am also working on trusting all the divinity that is in each and every person regardless of how weathered, tattered, beaten up and broken they may feel or act.
The lesson in peace had to precede this revelation because without peace, then I would be a walking wound, bleeding all over the place, and perhaps scratching people as they try to help me. It is true that hurt people hurt other people. But it is also true that hurt people can heal themselves by making peace with their realities.
3. Do it Afraid, but Do it Anyway: Many of my huge paradigm shifts have come in extreme measures. I can recall three such shaking times that were like flaring signs for a call to action. The first one at 12, and then at 18 after our grandmother's passing, and again at 31, which eventually led to my leaving a 7 year marriage. Although all these times were different, at 12 for example, I got news that I believed would change my life forever and I feared that I may not have the life I hoped to live but yet, 22 years later, it all seems like a distant dream that had no effect on me.
In the passing of my grandmother, there was a general sense of loss of direction on a family level that I didn't think we would cope well with at all. Again, the element of fear rung strong. And yet, many years later, we are living and embodying her example and passing it on to our children, her great grandchildren. My point is this, fear will come, adversity will come, resistance must come. Whether from within or without, there will be that moment of angst and you hold the keys to whether you will do it afraid and live or be paralysed with that fear and stay stagnant.
I choose courage. Courage to try that thing I haven't tried before and to walk resolutely in that choice.
What if you could, what would be your 3 things?