…Is taken one step at a time. That’s not one I can argue with, refute, or change.

wXG

“Each time for the first time, each moment, the only moment.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

We are each having our own experience. Also completely true, also out of reach of argument or persuasion. We make choices. Choices to participate, choices to pull away, choices to nurture, choices to disengage – we even attempt to make choices about whether we make choices, which is nonsense and foolishness; we have no choice but to choose. 

Sometimes choices are obvious.

Sometimes choices are obvious.

I enjoyed an exceptional day yesterday, end to end quite a nice day. The evening was spent in the company of one of my partners, providing a listening ear, and a supportive heart. People suffer, even people who love well and deeply will suffer in the course of a human life. Suffering isn’t avoidable; we have choices to make regarding how we handle our suffering, and how we treat others while we suffer. 

Before we go farther, I’ll say I’m still practicing, myself, and one of my own challenges is indeed learning to treat others – and myself – truly well in the face of my own suffering. I am acutely aware of the suffering of others, and I observe their choices and behaviors attentively, asking myself all manner of questions about how what I see applies to my own experience, what I could choose to do differently, were it my choice, to find my way out of that darkness, and to treat my loves well in the face of pain or rage. I definitely don’t want to set expectations that I find it ‘easy’ or that it is a simple matter to change lifelong poor behavior, or rewrite bad programming. I will spend my life becoming the woman I most want to be; the challenges are real, the rewards can’t be overstated. 

Resuming my narrative, I return to last evening. We’d had plans as a family. Those didn’t work out. It happens. I managed to enjoy an amazing connected intimate evening with my partner, simply by listening, being supportive, and allowing the time spent to have real value and intimacy, in spite of the OPD at the heart of all that pain. I ended the evening feeling warm and whole, and knowing that my partner was supported and cared for to the best of my ability. We all want to feel heard. 

We each have our own struggles, our own challenges and doubts, our own fears – and our own nastiness to address in the silence of solitude, staring into the face of who we are in the moment with honest desire to do more, better…or finding a way to be at peace with the person we see. It took me many years to come to terms with some pretty shitty behavior I’d learned, and to recognize how significant my own role is in my contentment and happiness. It took even longer to acknowledge that I alone have the power to change me. Having gotten there it seemed almost cruel that I also had to decide what to keep, and what to change, for myself…and have to be accountable for the outcome when I choose poorly. 

I don’t think this is the sort of journey that has a proper destination. I am doubtful that there’s a nice ‘rest area’ at the end point, a place to sit and relax, and celebrate the finish line. No trophy. No report card. No certification. Life is not the sort of journey that ends with ‘mastery’ or an obvious ‘win’… Except… There are moments when I feel something different about that; when the journey itself is the trophy, the goal, the big win at the finish line. No matter how long the journey, it is still taken in steps, and in moments, and each one contains that tremendous power to choose. Each of those moments, itself, is precious – incredibly precious; there are no ‘do-overs’.

Some thoughts over my coffee...

Some thoughts over my coffee…

What will I choose today? It’s a lovely morning… Today is a good day to change myself, and the changes I make within my own heart, and my own experience, have the power to change the world. Today, I am a more experienced, more skilled human being than I was yesterday. Today I am a handful of  moments closer to being the woman I most want to be. Today is a fresh start and a new opportunity to choose well. Today is a good day to choose change.