The ground is shifting constantly, never the same, so how can I build anything right now? Maybe it’s time to let things fall apart, and see what’s left after the winds of change blow through. I’d like to have some kind of plan, a goal, a vision, something that helps me feel like there’s a future and I have some control over the outcome… But this is a war humans have been fighting since they knew they could fight and where has it gotten us? Maybe I’m better off simply breathing and allowing myself to be right here, right now. Breathing and being. Yeah. That has a nice ring to it.
There is so much wisdom in surrender, knowing that I don’t know, opening to guidance, keeping the faith that there’s a reason, relaxing deeper into trust. When I could finally let go of the life I thought I had, the life I felt entitled to, I finally had the space to welcome my real life, as it is, right now. Then the real healing could begin. I had to let go of my marriage and I had to let go of my anger toward my children’s father for abandoning the marriage. I had to let go of control (I had none to begin with). When everything fell apart and there was nowhere to go but through, I learned to get clear and sober and fill my mind with prayer. I learned to turn everything over to a power greater than myself. I turned over my thoughts, words and actions, my hopes, dreams and fears, my beliefs, perceptions, my ideas of success and failure. Somehow, grace pulled me through the darkest nights of my soul; somehow I survived the changes that took time… I am grateful for prayers, sacred words spoken that bolster my courage and soothe my bodymind. I am grateful that my whole life has become a prayer.
I ended up in a twelve step meeting a couple of months after my husband decided he no longer wanted to be married anymore. I was devastated; having trouble eating and sleeping, feeling isolated because I had lost a lot of friends in the separation. The coach I was working with suggested a meeting, and found one for me in town. The first meeting I inwardly criticized the room, thought it needed to be redecorated. The second meeting I realized everyone in my life is codependent. The third meeting I started to believe that the program might help me if I worked it. Two and a half years later, I know my program has saved my life. I have found a sponsor and am working the steps slowly but surely… getting ready to do a fourth step soon. When I was ready to give up on life, this program showed up to demonstrate that grace is active in my life, and I am truly grateful.
Don’t read this with your mind, read it with your heart, because your heart will know that it is true: There is nothing missing in this moment, and you are whole and complete as you are. Don’t listen to your mind respond to what you just read! You’ve got to hush that thing up, give it a vacation. Say to your mind, Yes, dear, I know, you don’t like this… why don’t you take a nice hot bath or something? Meanwhile, just run right out the back door, get back to the love that is this moment. It waits for you like the best lover you have ever known, open, available, ready to give you everything, if you just show up and allow yourself to be held.
Suddenly I recognized I didn’t have to worry anymore, I didn’t have to struggle anymore, I didn’t have to prove myself to anyone, I didn’t have to fight to survive. Suddenly I realized that peace is here, now. I didn’t have to change anything, fix anything, improve anything, heal anything, forgive anything, understand, analyze, anticipate, modify, regret, like, dislike, or hope for anything. I didn’t have to communicate anything. Suddenly I realized that this moment holds the key to everything and there is nothing lacking. And for the first time I felt free.
In my search to find a home for myself and my children I reached out about a rental property and found out that someone has already applied… My first reaction was a jolt of anxiety, and then a selfish hope that they would be denied… but then I remembered that we live in a universe of inifinite possibility and I affirmed that either this or something better would be available for me and the kids in divine right timing. When you reach desperation point sometimes prayers are all you have.
We are making hundreds of choices in every given moment, although we are moving so quickly that we barely notice any of them. The way we breathe, the way we move, where we look, how we speak, how we think, what we give our attention to— just to name a few. These past few weeks, rife with uncertainty and volatility, I have come to realize in a deep, visceral way how much my choices matter and how conscious I need to be of what I’m choosing in any given moment. Sure, I’m supposed to be out of this house by July 15, sure I have no idea where I’ll live, sure I haven’t even begun packing yet; sure there are so many unknowns… If I focus on any of that, I’ll drive myself into a panic attack in an instant. Instead I can choose to see that in this moment I am safe. I can choose to condition my nervous system to really know that in this moment all is well. One day at a time the answers will become clear; one way or another I will cross the bridge from this old place of sad memories to a newer, better life for me and my children. In any given moment, the choice is clear. I choose peace.
Understanding that there are no problems in the present— only choices, decisions, possibilities— could I just slow down, breathe, recognize where I am, and simply do what needs to be done? You know what? I think I’ll try that for a day. No worrying, just doing what needs to be done right in the moment it needs to be done. Do you know what that sounds likes to me? It sounds like sanity.
This is the third time I’ve attempted to write this poem. It just isn’t coming out as I expected. I guess this means I’m human, and I guess it means I’m alive. Just wondering when I can ever be satisfied with myself as I am, life as it is; just wondering when I can drop the bs perfectionism bit, and just relax already.
I’ve tried to be in control
for most of my life
and where has it gotten me?
It doesn’t work,
buying into this illusion of control.
So why don’t I try something else?
What if I could simply surrender?
What if I could free up
the inner resources necessary
to really BE in this world
with my whole heart and mind?
What if I could take in
the beauty of this life
and feel gratitude welling up in my heart,
regardless of the weather
or where I live
or with whom I’m spending my time
or what kind of job I have
or clothes I’m wearing
or car I’m driving?
When all of the layers of illusion drop away
I am left with this Self, pure and simple.
This Self knows that there is nothing to control
in the outer world,
nothing that can be given or taken away.
It sits quietly, witnessing the all,
smiling, flowing into this infinite space