Archives for posts with tag: choose your path

I slept well last night, and got enough rest. I woke gently, and quietly made coffee, hoping not to wake my still-sleeping partner. I headed to the studio, sat down with my coffee, and started trying to put my thoughts together, words on a page, on a quiet Sunday. I’m grateful to have had an entire night’s sleep. Today, it looks like I’m going to need it.

This morning, my writing is interrupted, several times, for what I can only describe in this moment as “difficult interactions”. I’m not yet fully awake, and lack adequate emotional resilience for the irritated (I hear it as angry) tone of voice, so early in the morning. My thoughts are fractured, scattered, and now focused on feeling hurt, instead of nurturing something within me. My studio door gets slammed, probably without intent. My tears spill over. A quiet morning is apparently not on today’s agenda, and I am the hapless villain in this story – but who is the author? I feel frustrated, sad, and isolated (as much because I don’t really know what to do with these feelings, in this moment). It irks me that I woke up feeling so soft and amiably inclined toward my partner… and at the moment, I feel only the sting of his irritation, his disappointment with me (“What do I have to do to help you remember??”), and the visceral sensation along my nerves of a slammed door.

Sometimes “doing our best” isn’t enough to overcome opportunities to fail at something, or to miss a detail, and “trying hard” is not enough to ensure success. This is true with or without a brain injury. We have to choose again and again to “do the verbs” and to try again. We have to choose again and again to walk our path, or select a new one. It is also true that we don’t generally grow from the things we are reliably good at, or which we find comfortable and easy. So, okay – routine human shit between human primates. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it isn’t comfortable. Sometimes it is necessary to be reminded what the point of it is, and refocus our efforts, because it matters enough to do that. It reliably takes practice.

…What a shitty morning so far…and less than an hour into the day. Disappointment with myself, with the morning, with the circumstances, it all fills me up and spills over as tears, while I watch a little brown bird on the stoop, picking enough sustenance from the ground and from the sidewalk, just to get by another day. I watch the little bird, and try to nudge myself in the direction of recognizing that I am just experiencing some emotional weather; the climate in my heart (and, I assume, my partner’s) is fine. This? It’s just a moment. It’s useful to begin again, if I can start on that, somehow, then it’s not “a shitty morning” as much as a shitty moment. Moments are brief, and they pass.

This time, when my Traveling Partner opens the door to the studio, his face is softened, and he looks at me with love. The irritation is gone. He steps close, and strokes my hair. I apologize for the difficult start to his morning, through my slow, steady, tears. He tells me “it is what it is” and “I’m not angry”. He’s human, too. If I allow it to, the morning will shift gears to a happier place; we’ve made that possible, now it is just a matter of accepting that change and going with it. A matter of beginning again. I give myself a moment to appreciate having a partnership with so much resilience and potential to bounce back from a difficult interaction. I savor the feeling of gratitude that seeps in, as I contemplate the difference between this partnership, and others I’ve had.

I breathe. Exhale. Relax. Allow my heart to slow, and my posture to lift me more erect. I sip my coffee, and begin again.

It’s a question worth asking, I think. It’s at least worth reflecting upon it, asking it of yourself, and perhaps even being prepared that this could eventually be a thing you have to wrap your head around; what if you had to completely start over – with nothing?

Where you would begin in life, if you had to begin again on an entirely different level? What if you lost everything, even losing your “way”, your sense of place in the world, your job, your home, your standing in the community? How to start over…? Where to begin…? What matters most?

What matters most?

If you’ve “lost everything”, it’s likely you still have something precious to count on… this moment. Here. Now. Maybe some choices? If you’ve already lost everything, you’ve also lost reasons to turn away from choices that could take you somewhere really new… that’s something. Maybe that doesn’t seem like much, by itself, just the freedom to choose. Choose anything. To start from nothing and rebuild doesn’t sound at all pleasant, but once we’re on the other side of that “rip off the band-aid” moment of loss, isn’t it, potentially, all forward momentum?

For fuck’s sake, though, grieve if you’re hurting! Don’t mistake loss – and the emotions that it evokes – for anything more permanent than any other emotional experience, but do give yourself – and take – the time you need to heal and be okay! Impermanence is one thing, but please, oh please, don’t treat yourself harshly when you’re hurting. Feel your feelings. Be the best friend you may not feel you have, right now. Treat yourself with the consideration you’d give anyone else who is hurting. There’s no magic happy pill (no, really really there isn’t). Maybe it’ll be slow going to pull yourself out of whatever you are mired in right now… but you can.

Where would you begin, if it were you? A cup of coffee and a good book? A few minutes on a meditation cushion, a lovely view, the sound of breezes through tree tops? A few hours playing video games? A walk alone through a beautiful forest? I don’t know where you’d begin again… that one’s on you. I’ve gone without more than a few times. I lost a lot in life, and rebuilt a time or two; it’s why I refer to my lives in the plural, and reference “past lifetimes” – it really feels that way. lol I’m here, now, though, and I’m okay. Choices.

Yeah, but… circumstances, too. Don’t forget about the circumstances, right? Unavoidable, undebatable, immutable circumstances. Well, shit…

…Nah, I’m going to argue that one. Not gonna let that go. It’s an excuse to fail. Circumstances are circumstances; you still choose your adventure, still decide who you are as a human being, and you still have choices – how to act, how to react, what to say, how to treat people, how to treat yourself, where to go in life… all choices. Are you going to get handed some tiles in this game? Yep. It’s true. Starting points. From there; choices.

Choose wisely.

There’s much suffering in the world (and in my feeds), and I don’t much want to call it out, but some of it appears to be based on… choices. You can choose so much of your experience, and yes, even the suffering. Why choose to suffer?

We become what we practice. What are you practicing?

Damn, look at the time! It’s time to begin again. That’s a choice. ❤

“I’m no expert, but…”

I woke with those words in my head. Weird. I sip my coffee and consider them. It’s true. I’m not an expert. It’s not necessary to ask “at what”, because the answer will ideally be the same most every time; at whatever you’re asking about. I have more to learn. More to learn at my job. More to learn about great self-care. More to learn about love. More to learn about perspective. More to learn about being the very best human being I can practically be. More to learn about where my values will take me in life. More to learn about the consequences of my actions. More to learn about how my words affect others. More to learn about the world and other cultures. More to learn about letting go of attachment. More to learn about success. More to learn about balance. More to learn about “basic human decency”. More to learn about consideration. More languages, more math, more science, more philosophy, more… books to read.

There’s a lot to know, that I do not know.

I have more to learn. I am a student of life. Yep, still. I have practices to practice. Homework to do. A journey to take. A path to follow. It is seriously not in my best interests (nor is it my intention) to be aggressively certain, or to pursue “being right”; I’ll learn less if I take that approach, and omg there is so much to learn!

I have more questions than answers. I’m okay with this.

I remember a time in my life when I was rather more than a little bit arrogant about my intellect and my beauty. It did not serve me well, and let’s face it; beauty, most particularly, is a fleeting quality (not to mention, exceedingly subjective). As it turned out, there are tons of people both smarter and more educated than I am – and there definitely always will be, because there is so much to know. There are also uncountable others who are lovelier, more beautiful, cuter, prettier, sexier, fitter, and/or more stunningly gorgeously photogenic than I will ever be – or ever was. This is just real. It’s not about being “down on myself”, I’m simply sharing something about perspective that I did eventually sort out, over time; there are vast numbers of people, and I will never meet them all, and still, there is someone, somewhere, regardless, who is better/faster/stronger/smarter/something-er than I was, am, or will become. This has to be entirely okay, or I will spend myself chasing skills, qualities and accolades, and lose precious perspective on just enjoying my life. 🙂

I sip my morning coffee with a smile. I figured something out awhile ago; be humble. I’ve certainly seemed to be less insufferable, as a result. lol 😉

It’s okay to choose change – to willfully make changes that nudge me in the direction of becoming the woman I most want to be. Better than okay; it feels pretty empowering to choose to live my life, my way. Being humble about life, about my mistakes, about my progress – about who I am, in the context of my experience – gives me the opportunity to learn more, to go farther, and to share the journey with more fellow travelers.

It’s time to begin again. Choose your path. 🙂