It’s very early on this fall morning here in NYC. The sun has yet to rise. The streets are quiet except for a gentle squeak of a breaking city bus or truck at the stoplight. It is chilly, the new chilly of the season that when greeted later in the season will be labeled as mild instead of chilly. I am wrapped in a blanket sitting here writing through sniffles of a head cold. But words more so than stuffiness are filling my head. I’ve been up for a while unable to fall back to sleep. Usually I am an excellent sleeper. My job keeps me extremely busy enough to where when my head hits the pillow I am out and surrounded by the soothing vibration of healing revitalizing sleep before you can think about counting sheep! But every once in a while that 3 o’clock hour ticks by and if something nudges me awake that is when all the thoughts can come in like a great flood. It’s as though in the darkness, void of daily distractions and interruptions, my body, my psyche choses this time for a heart to heart. Now that I have your attention…..Usually the thoughts are not so nice. The worries set in. Snapshots of life are placed before my minds eye and the perfectionist in me is unhappy with each one. Usually I’ll grab a book or put my headphones on to distract myself until I can fall back to sleep. This morning I am met with an urge to write.
It’s all about the fear. That we ignore, we laugh at it, try to make it small. We are taught to embrace the fine things in life. These are the things to make us successful human beings. Fear is normal and yet to give life to them is to make them real. It slows us down. It defeats us. But it is there and patient and will make its voice known at any given opportunity like 3 o’clock in the morning! (Not the most considerate!)
Fear is such a black sheep. Fear always seems to have something negative to say so we ignore it but sometimes between the lines there are important things. This morning it asked me about progress: self progress. The last few weeks have been challenging ones and at times it feels like I have to make compromises in order to keep order. I’ve never been the squeaky wheel or the steamroller Type-A personality. But I am woman, I have vision. So I think is this really the way? Am I losing sense of self? Yeah, the usual human worries. But I think sometimes to the child I was before institutions grabbed hold and taught me my abc’s and how to make money in life. Aspirations seemed simple, there was nothing I could not do! Imagination would fulfill it all, no plans needed! As a child I am told that is cute and constructive, as an adult it is living in a dreamworld! (it’s no wonder why adults don’t laugh as much as children!) So in walks compromise. Sure compromises have always been an aspect of existence. It’s all about balance. But the compromising of self? How much is too much? What is sacrificed of self to keep such a balance? I understand those people who feel that have to cut themselves off from society so they can get in touch with the essence of self again. When I was little (before school) I think I really knew who I was, I never thought to question that. Yes, fear while you may word it darkly at times, you make a good point!
So my conclusion this go round….the question of why? what’s the point? Rhetorical questions whose answers lie within our own bellies, hearts and minds….My thought on a successful happy life is a life lived in grace. Having strength in my steps, knowing who I am and walking proudly in that knowledge never feeling ashamed to be. (Not to be confused with selfish narcissism). This brings forth such a shine/glow that warms the world, life’s leafy body soaks it up and grows. Yeah, yeah it sounds like the world revolves around you but I think it’s more of self revolving around the world.
Ok so let’s all skip around and sing and twirl because all is good, life is so simple. (But seriously it is, laughter is infectious! See I had a one on one talk with fear this morning and bringing up this proposal with a childlike glee I think I made fear laugh and not at me!)
Anyway, back to talking with you after all I write these words to be read and I admit usually in my journal writing it’s more a conversation with myself so thoughts can appear a little abstract and more for my own personal discussion. I am in no way trying to stand here on my soapbox preaching the gospel according to Ronnie! Just as I sit here with my fleece blanket wrapped around me I think of life as this giant quilt. All these stories sewed together some neatly, some messy, all vital. All the people I pass in the street even though I am walking with headphones in my own world. The people I deal with at work even when I am ready to curse them out for being so absorbed in their own world they seem not to be listening (and I am sure vice-versa we all have our moments!). Being visited by fear at 3 o’clock in the morning making me worry, making me angry, made me get up and write, made me grateful, reminding me of grace, reminding me to be. That’s my own journey. But I walk it with the quilt made up of stories, yours. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart! Thanks for listening! Happy travels!