Dear ones, I have been away for so long! I have been writing elsewhere, and thought my old-fashioned methods of letting you know about that would suffice. Clearly, I didn’t consult with the technology fairies, or they would have advised that I post about it here. Finally, thanks to some of you reaching out and letting me know you were wondering, I am here, with this link to where I am writing now. I look forward to meeting you there! And wish you peace, and joy, and a life you thrive in.
If I am to honor my Self, I must be willing to feel, willing to become familiar with the dark places, with the shape of my fear.
Honoring my Self means offering myself compassion, gentleness and generosity, although my habit is harshness and cold.
It means celebrating the myriad gifts that are constantly coming my way.
Honoring my Self means strengthening my energy so that I can choose discomfort when ease, even when I know it harms me, tempts me.
It means committing to my practice of stillness so that the noise of confusion can become quiet, and the Wisdom that resides within me can emerge in my awareness.
Honoring My Self means using the tools I have acquired, instead of simply contemplating them.
Especially, it means remembering that I am greater than my thoughts, greater, also, than this instant, and yet, simultaneously, very much in it.
How is it that dry, yellow sand can possibly nourish tall, swaying mounds of grasses that release their seeds to the wind?
How can the sounds of crickets transport me thousands of miles and twenty years into the past?
How can a large-eyed, yellow warbler, fluttering fearless me before me awaken this wonder in my heart?
This little patch of green, dwarfed by the expanse of water and sky, compressed by blacktop, cement, and the smell of exhaust: how is it that it can immediately return me to my Self?
Sometimes I understand that loss and pain are good for me, when they force me to stretch my neck beyond the boulder that hides me and I can see a whole new landscape unfurled beyond, inviting. Sometimes, today, I don’t know how to look at suffering and love what is there. I don’t know how to feel gratitude for the breaking, for the loss.
When I allow myself to intuit the depths of my fear, my impotence, then I understand how easy it is to defer to anger. I feel how much strength it takes for me to open myself, truly, to empathy. The question is: Am I willing to summon it?
I need to go inside to that core place, from which I find my way, where my Truth rests. But, sometimes, today, I find no real comfort there. And yet, I am aware of the Wisdom in openness, in empathy, and vulnerability. I am familiar with the gifts that they can bring.
And… I can perceive my strength, hidden in there, somewhere. If I stay long enough, I know that I can choose them all, some time, when I find that hidden strength. Or the will to summon it.
For expediency’s sake, I call our social structure the Patriarchy. And I feel myself wounded by it, I rail against it, I resist it. It results in oppression and constriction. Today I am aware again of how this is true for men, as much as for women. If anything, the oppression and constriction of men is more subtle, camouflaged, because we are not taught to see it, because it is the lens we do not know we see through.
What irony, what joy, that I can find the strength to see this and to recognize the woundedness in me, to heal myself, and, through me, a piece of the world, only in the safety of a circle of women.
What is it about leaves rustling that speaks so powerfully to my Soul?
That even amidst the deafening roar of everyday busyness, manages to hush the noise, to cause stillness?
So that I can surface from underneath the layers of “shoulds” and of tasks, from the corners into which weariness, irritation, inattention have driven me?
I walk outside with an intention to do Something, to accomplish Something, to check Something off my list of to-dos.
There is nothing to do.
The leaves, they rescue me, stopping me in my tracks for one infinitesimal, one infinite, crucial moment.
I have been cleaning out my closets, clearing out the clutter that accumulates there almost without my awareness of it. I am making space for greater energetic flow in my life. And in the process, I have found (and discarded) boxes full of diaries and journals from as far back as elementary school. As I paged through the oldest ones, I rediscovered a very strong, very brave version of myself, trying to know my Self, and hide it at the same time. It did not feel safe to allow my fullness to show in the world, and I consciously took on masks to navigate my life. I wrote about this, about the masks.
And this reminded me of all the masks I have donned through the decades, of all the ways that I have hidden myself, and how, even today, sometimes, I may feel that allowing myself to fully be can feel frightening. I remembered all the ways that I have twisted and turned myself in knots to fill others’ expectations, which I had frequently internalized and accepted as my own. I remembered all the ways I betrayed myself.
And I wrote my younger self a letter. I know I have done that before. But I felt compelled to write this letter. And as I wrote the following, it dawned on me that it holds true for me, even now, for the days that I have left to live.
You don’t have to seek anything out or try to win anyone over. Just stay true to yourself, love and respect yourself, care for your body and your soul and you will find everything you have doubted you could experience, awaiting you in your path.