I'm participating in Reverb10 this December. Won't you join me?
December 10th | Wisdom
Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)
There is this thing.
For the sake of this post, it doesn't really matter what the actual thing is. All that's important is that for me, it has been a roadblock to progress. More than a roadblock (which seems like it would be possible to eventually move or just drive around), this thing has felt more like the The Great Wall of Stuck.
It has loomed huge in my mind for what seems like forever.
It has lived in the background of my every moment. Insidious. Persistent. Clawing.
Sometimes deafening in its presence, sometimes quietly lurking, it has been ever-present for as long as I can remember.
Until just recently.
Oddly enough, my little epiphany came as I was perusing the internet, looking for a local calligraphy class I might be able to take. On the Chicago Calligraphy Collective's website I followed several links that eventually brought me to the exquisite work of master calligrapher, Jane Farr.
The irony of the fact that her blog is named, "A Place to Flourish" was not lost on me.
Flourishing is such a wonderful word, isn't it? So full and plump and ripe with promise. It evokes a sense of movement; a proper balance between smooth, effortless action now, and the promise of possibility for the future.
Anyway, I digress...
As I was savoring Jane's blog (I promise you, there is no way to move through this blog quickly - each image is more breathtaking than the next, and deserves its own special reverence), the image at the top of this post nearly jumped off the computer screen.
"Don't stumble over something behind you."
It was like being shot clean between the eyes with a blinding realization: that's EXACTLY what I had been doing. Stumbling over what was behind me.
Rather than letting this thing go, I was not only stumbling over it, I was letting it define how I saw myself. It had become my nemesis, but even more importantly, I realized that I was continually feeding it; fondling it; supporting it every time I thought about it. And I thought about it constantly.
It had become the story of who I was.
It had become my excuse for not moving forward.
It had become my reason for holding back; settling; being less than my fullest self.
And right then and there, I decided. No more. No more clinging to this thing that was no longer a part of my life. No more clutching on to all of the negatives that it created in my self-perception. No more.
Instead, I was going to replace that thing; that outdated story of who I am and what's important, with a new, more fitting image.
That image is one of a preciousness.
It has only been a few months since I made that decision, but I know it is absolutely the right one for me. The letting go of the old stories has at times been difficult. However, I know I am on the right path, because serendipity keeps stepping in and guiding me to my "right place."
People I never would have imagined I'd meet and become friends with, I've met and many of those meetings have turned into genuine friendships. I am being shown the way by such a varied and interesting collection of mentors that somehow just "show up" as if by magic ~ although I know it is much more than magic that is at work.
And I am listening - and trusting - that little voice inside me.
It's a voice that I've shusshed for many, many years. But thing about those little voices, is that they are persistent. And patient. Very, very patient.
I realize that it is a process. There are times when I slip. But instead of letting those slips completely derail me, I am getting so much better at picking myself up, dusting myself off, and beginning once again.
This notion that we all have just one precious life is profound. Making the decision to treat yourself and your life as the precious gift that they are is life-changing.