Something started bubbling up for me last night. A memory of several years ago and a current exploration of how else I could have shown up at that moment.
I brought this exploration to my morning pages and in doing so, connected with a new version of me. A more courageous version of me, and a more self knowing version of me.
I believe - I want very much to believe, - that faced with the same situation today, I would act much differently. I would still feel the difficulty, the awkwardness, the potential grief also, but maybe I would step over them the way we might step over a bunch of laundry spilled out into the floor. I would see them and their messiness, their inconvenience, and I would know that at some point I would have to deal with them. But I would love me enough to walk away. Really, I would KNOW me enough to walk away.
These moments are tender and delicious. They show us the places where we have stretched enough times that we now accommodate a more authentic “us.”
Having finished my own writing, I reached for Mark Nepo’s book and opened it to today’s piece. This is what I read:
“I have come to believe that we are destined to be opened by the living of our days, and whether we like it or not, whether we choose to participate or not, we will, in time, everyone of us, wear the deeper part of who we are as a new skin. Either by erosion from without or by shedding from within – and often by both – we are forced to live more authentically.”
These are my musings for now 🙂
I hope your week is lovely.
Forty two years ago, on February 14, I was called out from my math class because I had received a telegram.
The paper kind, with just a few words, and traditionally reserved for outrageously important communications.
All eyes were on me as I opened it. Did someone die? Actually, I don’t remember even wondering what was in it, just the huge amount of attention that distracted me from whatever I might have been feeling.
It came from America. From New York. Which to French teenagers is more American than anywhere on the planet.
Once I peeled off the front flap, there were words, on slightly blurry blue ink.
Words in English, sweet words, words of love and delivered in a way that set the bar pretty darn high for the rest of the Valentine’s Days of my life.
“John di Pierno.”
Originally from Puerto Rico and living in New York, we had met in Haiti and spent a puppy love evening together in the rain. I was 14 and I think he may have been 18.
When my parents took me to New York a few weeks later, he had asked for their permission to see me again. We walked around Manhattan holding hands and I remember feeling weird about him saying that his dad worked for the mafia. As a French girl, he might as well have told me that his dad was a unicorn.
That was it.
Then, months later... the telegram. The over the top telegram.
The years passed and Valentine’s Days came and went. I can count on the fingers of one hand the ones when I was not attached to a romantic partner on that “special” day.
I never got another telegram but one year, I did get cashmere panties, which might be even better (these came from a man who was one day old when I opened “the telegram.” Life is funny that way.)
This year is one of these solo Valentine’s Days and I love the Essence of Ease that is imbued in it. No pressure, no expectation, just the knowing that my heart has loved and been loved. A lot. and still does.
May today be sweet and just right for you. may you remember how loved you are.
It’s possible that I still have this telegram, somewhere.
Our Reactive Essences.
We are good at them. People love us for them. Sometimes we even get paid for them.
AND how easily we can betray ourselves in their name...
I first learned about them ten years ago during a Landmark weekend. During my last Retreat, the topic came up (it had before), and gave me an opportunity to dig a little bit deeper into it. Upon my return, Life gave me an opportunity to get a closer look - as in: right in my face.
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