Today I used a quote as a writing prompt, simply writing whatever flew off the ends of my fingertips in response.
I wrote this short essay in five minutes and maybe two more, to bring it to conclusion.
It was written in #5for5BrainDump style and I am thrilled to announce our next #5for5BrainDump session has been scheduled to begin June 18. Come back tomorrow for a link to the free sign up page. (Woeful mailing list issues).
Now, wisdom from Carolyn Myss, a different child-like version of me and a surprisingly… well, just me-me.
“Do you really want to look back on your life and see how wonderful it could have been had you not been afraid to live in?”
This quote hits me like a shocking slap to the face.
Ouch. Sting. I reach for my face – my heart shaped scar, the tears that want to pour out but stay continually stuck. Frozen.
I do not want to look back on my life and see fear everywhere.
I have stopped saying the word “want” as much as possible.
My aim is to look back and be satisfied, even with the fear-filled moments.
There is a little how do I describe her – a little contrarian Julie sitting on my right shoulder who wants to defend me. “Do you know what Julie has been through? She deserves to be afraid. She has earned a holy fear. Seriously, do you know her stories?”
I want to shush her, it’s embarrassing, and I remember Adam, my twice-time counselor saying something similar. “Give yourself a break, Julie” and I look back into my memory and say. “But Adam, I am still here. I am still here.”
I am thrilled to look back at my life in ten years and say. “This is that time when I transformed. This is the time when I chose differently.” (I wanted to say ‘finally’ and I controlled myself.)
All of the fear mongering experiences have served me, strangely, in adding a more compassionate side and gaining multitudes of life. I continually learn about self-forgiveness and compassion. I could have a PhD (at least) in patience.
I’m a grief expert, and my shortcomings – not wanting to create more strife or have confrontations or let go – these are areas I recognize and continue to work on.
When I look back at my life, I see purple. I smell lavender and juniper and surprisingly moist soil and last year’s leaves. I hear birds– familiar and not-so-much, pencils scratching on paper, and I see smiles slowly breaking across faces and eyes crinkling up. I see tears: of awe and bitter sadness.
A quiet voice inside just said. “and you did your best.”
That earlier contrarian Julie is in disagreement.
I am choosing to let go of the frustrated nihilist child and am willing to nod in agreement. I’m willing to receive the assessment, “I did my best.”