It seems that life lately has been an ongoing saga of awakening, wrestling and releasing. It’s brought a bit of silence to my written voice here because I find it hard to give words to the light and the every day happenings yet haven’t been ready to share the more personal reflection. This place that we call home, this place of deep roots, wild still calm beauty, and hard, slowly written stories has urged me to look at life and at myself in ways that I never have before. I am seeing both my flaws and my beauty. Sometimes, I am grieved at what I see. Sometimes, I want to dance. Both often bring tears.
As I sat on a grassy, buttercup strewn hill overlooking the water to the tiny community on the other side of the inlet, I struggled to find words to tell you, dear readers, about the awakening that I am experiencing. For here in this place, I am waking up though I was never asleep. All of my life I have been wakening; I’ve been leading up to this moment that will lead to the next and still the next. Some of these moments seem more gloriously and painfully profound but they wouldn’t be there with the middle or the little ones. Does that make any sense?
I love life and live intensely, purposefully, and intentionally. I rejoice fully, I hurt greatly for others and for myself, I become discouraged easily, and I don’t give up or in gracefully. Change of any kind throws my whole world off balance. This past year has shaken me to my core and although I knew that it would, I wasn’t prepared. And so with that proverbial rug swept from under my feet, I’m finding where to place them again. It’s a process that is requiring more changes especially those from within. They are hard coming and they are oh so welcome.
I have spoken several times of my desire to live well and whole-heartedly; it is a closely held desire. It’s a desire that covers a lot of how I live; how we live because Dan shares that desire with me. A few nights ago, I lamented to Dan about all that I have going on in my head. I think about almost everything. I ponder, discuss, observe, listen, read, and research the way that I live. And I wed a man who analyzes everything. For me, to know is to act, to do it or at least attempt. In my mind this has been to live well. Others might call label it perfectionism but I have never liked labels;). I’ve often been sad for those caught up in the wheel of perfectionism but have accepted it in myself for what I deem “good” things. They are good things, many are great things, and they have become my crutch.
Because of all my knowledge, understanding, and beliefs of good and my determination to act fully, all of these wonderful things have begun to create anxiety, frustration, and guilt because I can’t do everything that I, and only I, have placed on myself. As I look at our life it has a great deal that is exactly what I sought but there are things that I have rushed, some things weren’t meant for this time and some things won’t ever be done up to my “standard”. Yet, I’ve fought giving anything up because it was good or the best for us. I’ve refused to lower my standards in my mind even when it is obvious that they can’t be reality. And I’ve kept thinking that I could just try a little harder or that the breakthrough was just around the corner. I would get it right (said with chin up, shoulders squared, back straight.). But slowly, bit by bit, I have been awakening to the fact that I will never get it right and perhaps I was never meant to. I won’t ever be everything to my children, my husband, or anyone else; I shouldn’t be. I don’t make our little world spin round though I tend to live as if I do. Knowing all kinds of great things and life enriching information doesn’t mean that I must act or else I am a failure. I’m going to mess up until the day I rest in the grave. I’m going stand ashamed before the hurt eyes of my husband as he hears my unfair, cutting words. I am going to feel like a hypocrite telling my girls that I am sorry for unkind words that matched the ones I told them not to speak earlier. I’ll crawl into bed chastising myself for the lateness of the hour and the exhaustion that I know I will feel in the morning. I’ll give the inward cringe as I turn on the dryer when the line and sun beckon outside. I’ll cover one large garden plot with plastic until next year and try to keep the weeds down enough to allow a fraction of the plants that I had intended to grow to produce. I’ll swallow my pride and write an email giving up my dream cow of highland jersey mix. Some days I’ll do art and dance with my girls while on others, I’ll do dishes and wash floors, but some days I’ll everything poorly. I’ll be home with my girls thankfully but there will be times that I envy Dan. Doubtless there will be mornings that I will wish I didn’t have to wake up. I treasure my quiet reading and praying but I’ll still get busy in the morning and forget. I will feel that my life is hard even though I know I have a beautiful one. Some days, I will feel like I have messed up, oh, just about everything. Still, the point is that Love is woven through my entire life and it is the grace of that making my life well lived.
And so my friends, a conversation that began with me letting go of my dream cow continued my awakening. To life that means so much more.