I am making this statement to myself often these days. I rise each morning, make coffee, meditate, journal and then review my to do list. There are days when I feel like my very ability to show up at all depends on that to do list. It gives me a place to go, something to strive toward, it gives me something to focus on, especially on days when all else feels difficult.
I have a lot on right now, much like most everyone, a pandemic, questioning racism and privilege, working, building, cleaning, clearing, washing, zooming and phoning. And then there is the list of things in my inner world, me questioning my place in the world, my ability to speak my truth, questioning where are my boundaries, what do I want my life to look like, what do I need in relationship, how do I fulfill my life’s mission to make the world a better place, my need for more joy and less work, my need for more connection, my need to bring my spiritual self out from the shadows to be fully present in my day to day and at the end of it all, how does my life need to change in order for me to get closer to the life that I desire. A life with more joy, a life that makes the world a better place, a life that is fully expressed and a life that gives and receives love unconditionally. A life that feels like it has been chosen by me, rather than something that has just happened to me.
Would I have been examining my life so much if it weren’t for this pandemic? I think so, I was already in this evaluation at the beginning of this, the pandemic just intensified it all, perhaps it brought my attention closer to home (literally and figuratively). I credit Writing Wisdom with bringing me to this place, for finding the questions I didn’t even realize I needed to ask.
In this process, I have run into plenty of answers, truths about myself but I have also uncovered something that has surprised me and that is fear. When you find fear, it can be paralyzing. On the days that I have found it showing up, I have forced myself to turn to my to do list. I have told myself to just let fear sit on the sofa across from me while I do the next thing on my list, ask it to wait, I will get back to it eventually. When I do this, the fear is always smaller than when I first uncovered it, somehow by telling it to wait its turn it loses some of its blow hard, hot air bluster.
Right here, right now, I would like an easy button and yet I know there isn’t one. I would like to wake up to a map lying on the pillow beside me, a map that says take this road, this road leads to joy and happiness without the hardships.
I was told by a friend once that in astrology there are two major transits in life, one occurs in your late 20’s and the second occurs in your 50’s, these transits are times in your life when you are presented a fork in the road that decision setting the course of the rest of your life. I see this current evaluation as just that, my second transit. The questions are big, the stakes are high, the highest stakes I have ever played for, the stakes are my life. When I was a child, I always wanted to make the world a better place, that’s it, my life’s work as early as I can remember, my mission if you will. I have always been called to that mission in one form or another, for the last several years it has been more like a bullhorn in my head.
These life questions, the fear, it all feels debilitating some days and yet on others, I dive in those waters with the confidence of Michael Phelps in his best race. What makes one day different from the other, who knows, my energy level perhaps, my attitude, my willingness to stay in the discomfort when it arises perhaps, my ability to use my own authentic voice and not give up on it, not resorting to allowing it to play small.
It is easy to resort to downsizing our voices, to saying the thing that would be easily received while burying our own disagreement. Not speaking up and naming the fear, chasing it out the front door rather than letting it sit on the couch even if it does get smaller while it waits. How long have I been downsizing my own voice I wonder? How long have I been letting the fear control me? How long has that fear been there? More questions to take to the page.
Some days this examination is exhausting and I just don’t have it in me, on those days, rather than beating myself up and expecting me to just hunker down and push through, I have been giving myself a pass and just allowing myself to say, this is the best that I can do right now and just knowing that that will have to be enough for today. I then choose one thing that feels good to go ahead and do and I do that one thing. Sometimes I can even go ahead and do another thing on the list, again that list makes it easier to show up, focus, do the next most essential thing because while examination of one’s life is important, it can also distract you from doing the business of just living that life in the first place.
For today, this is the best that I can do. Live.