breathe

this morning I suddenly feel better. I didn’t expect to feel better, still not having done the Big Things on my sword of damocles to-do list– but apparently I have done other things and other things have rolled around somewhat– and there is, I think, a lesson in this which I offer up to you out there in case it gives something good at a time when you might need it.

some of us, who knows, maybe many of us, have a lot of monsters in our heads. all sizes and shapes with very pinchy snarly teeth. sometimes they get the upper hand and you see all the world through their grinchy little eyes: you look up into snow falling under streetlights in the evening, and you do not think how beautiful— instead you think I am as fleeting and insignificant as one of those flakes of ice. you find no consolation in the complex architecture of frost. you say to yourself I MUST pull myself up by my boot straps! only to argue physics and logic with yourself.

there are different kinds of forward propulsion. I had some significant figures in my younger days show me a lot of the fist-down-on-the-table variety. boom boom. you WILL do x or y! to which it was all too easy to conform on the surface while underneath saying no, I WON’T— thereby splitting myself in two time and again.

I am trying to learn another kind of forward propulsion: the loving open hand on my own back, propelling me forward; the hand in my own guiding me, walking with me. and, yes, I know how late it is in the game to be learning, to be studying these things, and there is shame and embarrassment in such an enterprise– but by golly I’m fighting for my life.

and so the lesson I am taking this morning, once again and all over again for the hundredth time as if for the first time, is this: gentle steps. rather than setting up the To Do list monumentally in such a way that it will make me, once again, dig in my heels and retreat under the covers with a book, going la la la, I’m not listening— instead. small steps. like writing in the paper journal every morning, once again. (it’s been much much too long.) allowing myself some timeouts without belaboring the self-recrimination. keeping getting up in the morning and going to work, where sometimes I do some things that feel good and right and leave me feeling stronger with important realizations about myself. keeping looking up at that snow under the streetlights– in time I will see it again in all its glittering splendor and realize I am breathing and breathe.

mail
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinyoutube

7 Replies to “breathe”

  1. you wrote this for me it seems. I try the to do lists each day, and berate myself for not doing all of the list, get discouraged and sit in front of the tv, or computer. I quit my job a little over a year ago to get back to who I really am. I am getting closer, but am very overwhelmed. I became a hoarder while I was working, filling my house with stuff rather than filling myself with good things. Now I look at tables overflowing with stuff, boxes and cabinets, stacks and piles. I listen to my true self inside who says "get rid of it!!!!!!" but I look around me and am overwhelmed by the magnitude of the stuff. sigh….. another day….another list of to do's…..need to learn small steps.

  2. I adore that second-to-last paragraph. I don't think it's late in the game, I think far more people get to the point in life we are at, think it's too late, and go through the rest of their lives in avoidance or denial.
    And avoidance and denial have their place – putting down the concerns so you can see the beauty.
    This is beautiful – the writing, the lessons, the inhale and exhale. Love you, que S'rah.

  3. ahhhh, this is beautiful. this:some of us, who knows, maybe many of us, have a lot of monsters in our
    heads. all sizes and shapes with very pinchy snarly teeth.and this:you say to yourself I MUST pull myself up by my boot straps! only to argue physics and logic with yourself.and this, this is beautiful, and good to hear, and good to listen to:I am trying to learn another kind of forward propulsion: the loving
    open hand on my own back, propelling me forward; the hand in my own
    guiding me, walking with me.by golly I'm fighting for my life.ain't it the truth. in solidarity, always,b

  4. ah, my friends. I am so very grateful for you, really, more than I can say. reading you, yes, here in response to me, but also in your own thinking on your pages, it helps me so much to keep moving forward– you breathe new life into me (aka inspiration) when I'm flagging, and these threads of connection are vitally important to me. virtual my ass, this is real. ;) xoxo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.