Monthly Archives: October 2012

Knocking from the inside.

“I have lived on the lip of insanity, wanting to know reasons, knocking on a door. It opens.
I’ve been knocking from the inside!” Rumi

There have been countless times in my life, when I believed that the answers to my questions were outside of myself. Whether that showed itself in being an attentive student in school, or doubting my capabilities as a parent, or in seeking advice or counsel from friends or partners. Even though I would defer to what I wanted to do, it was almost always after finding out about what others might do, or what I thought that they would do, in any given situation.

I have also been frequently influenced by the actions of others, whether I asked their advice or not. If someone I knew dressed a certain way, performed a certain daily ritual, or started eating a certain kind of food, I would want to “try it on”, to see how it felt for me. To be more like that person, or to appear cool, more together, or to feel like I fit in better with the world around me.

The real truth is, as I have come to discover especially in the last two years, is that my whole life, I have been knocking on the door of my life, trying to get someone to answer, trying to look outside of myself to get what I needed.

And, the cosmic joke of the whole deal, is that I have been knocking from the inside this whole time!

The deep lesson for me, that I continue to learn every day, is that any answer that I seek, is all within me. I can try to make it about someone else, or the weather, or my job or traffic. The only truth that exists is that the real answers are always inside of me. Funny thing is, they always have been, as well.

I know what I want, and I know who it is that I want to be in this world, and when I defer that knowledge to others, or to life situations, I not only don’t get to experience the joy of my own discovery. I also get a sneaky way to not have to be accountable for realizing my own dreams. I don’t want that anymore.

Today, I see clearly that the answer to any of life’s questions, the path to any quest or adventure, is within myself. And that is the best place for me to always start, and end.

Whimsy!

I bought myself a new vacuum cleaner recently. And, just for fun, I have decided to name it.

My new vacuum is named Calliope. The Greek muse of heroic poetry.

Naming of my vacuum, seems silly, right? I am viewing it a bit differently, as in, I am being whimsical, looking to find fancy and delight in my every day occurrences. Enjoying the moments and creating fun in them whenever possible. Being light instead of heavy.

Leaving drama behind and having a sense of humor about it all.

For so much of my adult existence, even my child years for that matter, I have taken myself, and the world, so seriously. Taken on the ills of the world into my own being; listened to the struggles of others and made them my own; been dramatic and reactive about situations in my life that were truly manageable and not so serious.

Today, I am freeing myself up. I want to enjoy my life, and I want to keep it in perspective. Instead of worrying about how often I am vacuuming my living room, how about just giving it a name, like Calliope, enjoying the color it adds to my home, and having fun with it all?

When I would take in the problems of the world, or the issues of others, I always felt so noble, so heroic.

So better than.

Today, I can listen, empathize, and support those around me that are struggling with one life issue or another. I can advocate and stand for those that cannot stand for themselves. However, I don’t have to make all of that which occurs about myself. It really has little to do with me. When I make it about me, I stop being there for the other person. I become selfish and self absorbed about it, rather than loving and giving to them.

I also stop having fun with life when I do this. I go to dramatic, rather than whimsical, fun and adventurous.

So, today, I am enjoying my Saturday, by eating french toast and bacon at 2:30 PM; walking a wooded trail; having a bubble bath; and saying words like whimsy and Calliope.

It is a great day.

Putting it all together.

There are times in our lives, probably more often than we realize, when there are big changes happening. New relationship. New home. Children. Marriage. Job change. Death or illness of a loved one.

These are all major, life changing events, that can bring on great stress when they occur. Even when they are happy events.

What I am keenly aware of today, is that at any given time, I am swirling in several different aspects of my life at once. And, the complicated place to be at times, if I let it be complicated, is putting all of it together.

My life was predictable for quite some time, even though aspects of it were not happy, for years. So, I set out a couple of years ago, to change it up and to create something different for myself. I am still creating those big changes now; new relationship, new job duties, new attention to my health and well being, my sobriety, and my sense of spirituality.

So today, I was reminded of how complex it can be to bring it all together. Not only in terms of the time it takes to devote to all of the important aspects of my life. Also, for aspects of that life to come together, like my new partner and my daughter building a rapport; like meeting each others’ families and friends; like sharing aspects of self that have been kept within for a very long time.

I remembered today, that when I would come to realize the need to bring unfamiliar aspects together, I would either ignore the intricacies of the situation, become really dramatic about it and worry, or dive right in.

I am diving right in.

Life is not meant to be neat, and tidy, and a linear experience. I always thought it was, or at least, that was what I wanted it to be. No mess, no surprises. Always predictable.

But it is not that way. And today, I am embracing the adventure and the opportunity that it allows me, to see that there is no linear life experience; that life is living and breathing, and going in many different ways at once.

So, today, I feel truly alive and excited at the adventure of putting all aspects of my life together. It might have its moments of challenge, but it will always bring me to a more knowing and joyful place.

Pure Faith.

I have been thinking about it recently, and I realized that through much of my life, I have been a quest for pure faith.

I am not unlike many humans in this regard, I believe. What I mean by pure faith, is a faith that is steadfast, secure, and never waivers. That is what I have been seeking.

There are times in my life when I have come close. I remember being in church when I was an adolescent, feeling so moved and inspired by the prayer recitings, and songs that we would sing together in such an organized fashion. I remember feeling so deeply connected when I would smell the incense burning at the high holy days, when I would receive communion in my mouth. When I would kneel, pray and reflect. I felt full of faith then.

And, I can remember in college, when I needed space and time for reflection, I would always go to the chapel, that my first year was right in the same building as my dorm. It was so peaceful, and quiet, and I always felt God there.

I also am present to times since then, when I would be moved by a sunrise, or the beauty of nature, and be present to the fact that something greater than myself exists.

But it has never felt truly pure. I have always had doubts about whether or not a Higher Power truly exists. I have often not prayed for help or guidance, sure that I could handle it myself.

I have had a very hard time in my life, letting go, and letting God.

So, is pure faith really possible and attainable in this life? I wonder now if it really exists; not, mind you, if faith exists. I see that every day. But is it truly possible to have all faith, in all times?

I have seen depictions of persons, and met some in my life, who seem purely faithful. And, then I wonder, do they ever doubt? Does their faith waiver, and become uncertain, at times of darkness or fear?

I feel more faithful today in my life than ever before. I am expressing gratitude, present to my blessings, and I have a deeper realization than ever before that I am not doing this on my own; that there is a power greater than myself that is at work and helping me along the way.

I also see faith expanded for me today, in that I am learning to see every human as a reflection of God, of Higher Power. So, as I become more faithful, it means faith in others as well as faith in my Higher Power. I have to be able to recognize the beauty and wonder in each human being, NO MATTER WHAT.

So, does pure faith exist? I am not sure, but for today, I want to just keep deepening the faith that I do have.