the truth of who you are
I am holding the preciousness of my daughter's 7th birthday yesterday close to my heart. It speaks to everything I am feeling right now. The ups and downs, attachment, joy, gratitude, disappointment, elation, bittersweetness, and challenge of letting something we love go. She had a good day. And at the end of it, she laid flat on her stomach crying in her bed because it was over.
Earlier in the day while she was at school, I walked with my youngest as the Autumn sun streamed through the leaves. I saw a man, a neighbor driving away in his truck with a huge flag for the person I am not voting for, waving proudly in the air. I felt my chest tighten. He raised his cup and looked at me through his glass window. I waved back feeling proud of myself for actually doing so.
I then felt slightly ridiculous that for a split second I thought about not waving. I don't want to be someone who doesn't wave or smile because of a difference in opinion.
But sometimes I forget who I am and who I want to be.
I really want to see underneath the surfaces and beyond the layers of story and opinions that keep us separate.
Although I fail at this pursuit regularly, I prefer to operate from soul to soul. The best in me and the best in you. Or like we say in yoga, Namaste, the light in me honors the light in you.
But I'm human. And sometimes I mess up, make mistakes and act out of fear or anger instead of Love.
Forgiveness is important too. And acceptance. I'm trying.
Today, I am blissfully thankful for this touch of Fall weather sweeping through. The heat is finally calming down, thank goodness. I am not sure if it will stay but it is a welcome change for now.
And things are always changing. Always in flux. Why is this so hard to accept? Because we tighten, we attach, we hold on to our memories, our ideas for how things should be. It makes us feel safer, maybe more in control. The future is uncertain and that is for certain! Pema Chodron reminds us to recognize impermanence even celebrate it as it is a "principal of harmony" that exists in our world. When we see it, she teaches us to name it as such. The leaves and acorns falling, the relationship changing, the birthday ending. Impermanence.
I didn't really feel like writing today because I have too much to do while the baby sleeps, namely take a shower and attend to a massive amount of laundry. I didn't know what to write. But I am writing what is in my heart. What is making my chest feel heavy and my heart feel like a sinking ship. By giving name to what it is; the worry, the tinge of sadness, the fear of the unknown, the shimmer of gratitude and love, I feel like myself. Not the one who doesn't wave but the one who does no matter what.
Because I am in awe of the miracle and mystery of all of it. And all I can really do today, in addition to the laundry and grocery shopping, is surrender to it all.
"Being who I am. Just being who I am. That's the big trick. I spent so many years trying to be someone else; trying to be what I thought I was supposed to be, or what someone wanted me to be. And then trying to get what I wanted for me from the scraps, or by sneaking around and doing things behind other people's backs. Exhausting. Let me tell you, it's an exhausting way to live. But the cancer stripped me down. Nothing left to lose, as they say. So this year I said to myself, fuck it, no apologies, I'll just be who I am. I'll see how that works."
The more I stopped trying to be a perfect little human for everybody else, the more I stopped expecting other people to be perfect. The more I trusted myself, the more I trusted other people. It's the darnedest thing...
I wanna tell my kids this. I wanna tell them not to care so much about what other people think. Not to be afraid of saying what they want, what they need. I wanna say, don't dim your light; don't live small. You're not damaged goods; you don't need to be fixed. Just be who you are -'cause that's what the people who really matter want anyway. The truth of who you are. " - Maggie Lake from Marrow; A Love Story by Elizabeth Lesser.