Of peace and joy..
Thursday, December 29, 2011
It's time. Time to find and embrace the inner peace that I've somehow lost or misplaced.
Last night, I met with other SparkPortland team mates and we volunteered our time at the Oregon Food Bank. For me, it was a pivotal experience. It was great to meet my new friends, people I’ve been reading and responding to over the last year and a half. More than that, though, it reminded me of the fact that there is a whole huge world beyond the small tight bubble I’ve banished myself to live in lately. There were so many people, none of whom I knew, giving of themselves and their time, to help others. I was a part of something bigger, much bigger and much more important than my own self and situation. There was such simple joy in the doing, in the giving of ourselves to a greater cause. I laughed and enjoyed myself and soaked up the experience. It touched me, softened me, and helped me to realize what I’ve been missing.
See, I've felt scattered lately. All sharp edges and uncomfortable and rattled. You know because you've been kind enough to bear witness to my meager attempts to write it out. I closed off my page, made it private, thinking I'd be able to pour out this angst onto these pages and get it out of my system, but I couldn't. You can't write about what you're not certain of. Flailing about blindly doesn't do any of us any good. So I bided my time.... bid my time? I waited out the rattled feeling, waiting for that moment when I could draw a deep breath and let it out again, a bit more easily.
I think I'm there. Or here. Present.
One day last week some time, I Huddled with the SparkPortland team, wishing them peace and joy. Simple enough words, but I realized that -that- was what I was looking for. I need to find my peace again, I need to remember how to live in joy, rather than in misery.
Do I blame the holidays, and missing my dad terribly to the point of crying each day?
Do I blame it on having given up on myself lately?
Do I blame it on external forces wearing away at my determination?
Yes and no. Those are reasons, but not excuses. They all played into my state of mind over the last.. well, if I'm going to be completely honest, I've been in this place for the last 7 months or so. I regained my balance for a bit, and then toppled over again 3-4 months ago. I fought the good fight, put on the brave face, continued charging forward, but whenever I'd falter, it became harder and harder to get back up and continue on.
I guess I had to fall apart enough to finally reach the point where remaining in this state is untenable and I refuse to live a half life anymore.
Where once I had firm muscle under admittedly loose skin, now I'm just squishy and jiggly.
Where once I could climb the stairs and not be winded, now I'm breathing too hard.
Where once I cared what I ate, now I'm indiscriminately shoveling.
Where once I allowed someone else to define my worth and value, now I'm shaking off that under-estimation of me and counting myself as intelligent, capable, worthy, strong, resilient, and most importantly, at peace.
I have nothing to prove to anyone, but myself. I have nothing to hoist above my head and shout 'is this finally good enough??', I have no need to hang my head and quietly whimper 'why isn't this good enough??'.
Consider this my battle cry. Consider this me putting my body, attitude, emotional health, and my detractors on notice. I can be fiercely, quietly, peacefully determined, one step at a time, gaining back the ground I've lost lately, and striding forward purposefully.
How many ways do I need to say it? How many times do I need to RAWWR to convince no one else but myself that this.. this is the time. It’s time to lift my head, find the peace and joy I had before, and coax is along, steadily, gently. It’s time to stop punishing myself for something that is beyond my control. It’s time to stand up and be worthy once more, and find my way to live in peace and joy.
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson