There are times in my life when I feel weak and fractured: when I worry about my heart that beats erratically and aches for constancy, when the to do list grows longer than the can list, when loneliness takes a seat at my table and refuses to leave. But when it comes to my boys there is a strength that can not be measured, a love that has no end and a courage that can meet whatever the day brings. They are and continue to be, my best reason for drawing oxygen. They are my first breath of gratitude in the morning and my last breath of thanksgiving before I surrender to sleep.
Today was a beautiful fall Sunday spent in the company of my two bright lights.
Here are some of the highlights:
And as the day closes I find myself overcome with soul satisfying gratitude. A very good day.
Emotionally leaden would be a good descriptive for me during the past few weeks. Two days ago I heard myself bragging. Bragging. I'm not usually a braggart. I will sometimes put on a bit of confident moxy but brag…hardly. I was bragging about all sorts of nonsense…I was a fashion consultant in San Francisco, I am super smart and graduated with top A's in all my classes, I'm going to get a PhD, I got this honor or that honor, yada yada yada. Rather than gag (which was my first response), I turned around to face myself with loving compassion. That is when I saw it clearly: a sadness, a longing, a need for validation.
As a kid, my house wasn't heavy on validation. I found validation in SCHOOL. I could go to school and know the drill. I could ace any class I walked into and I was a people pleaser to boot so teachers liked me. I was starving for information BUT equally hungry for the stars on my paper, the 100% in the top right corner, the smiley face, the A+, the feeling of "I did it". I don't remember ever, in all my life, breathing in those small victories.
There was always another A to strive for.
Nor was anyone ever impressed by my report cards, or honor rolls, or awards. I didn't attend award ceremonies, imagining myself walking to accept the diploma, award, or whatever without a single clap of applause. I sought accomplishment, not for how it might be perceived by others, but like a man dying of thirst seeks water.
I approached spirituality with this same fervor. Enlightenment... the ever elusive A.
Now that grad school is over and there are no more accolades or academic conversations, no more A+'s in the top right corner, I felt again that empty place of longing to belong.
Life is interesting isn't it.
There is no getting around it, only going through it.
There are no A's. And if you don't pause for the small victories and be your own applause, you will go through life hungry for a food the world can not give.
Today I am just this life looking out through these eyes, grade-less, and today that is enough.
That is enough.