Setting my intention for the day:
what needs do I wish to fulfill?
And how can every action,
bring me closer to my center,
bringing me closer to others?
What change can I bring about
so that my life doesn’t stagnate?
So that I don’t just become
what everyone wants
or expects me to become
I come to recognize the divinity
that is my soul?
Morning traffic. Already running late. Story of my life.
But it was on this particular morning when I was sitting at a stop sign waiting to turn that I was actually able to dig into the hazy recesses of my mind, not yet responding to the caffeine I had been feeding it, to consider this idea: the way we drive our cars might be very similar to the way we shift our way through life.
I once took a dream analysis class and one thing I remember is that in dreams cars are thought to symbolize our bodies or our person. I suppose I can see how that could be; our bodies are also what transport us through this world.
While I was scoping out the scene on my morning commute, wanting to turn right but not get hit by the car/person in front of me, I noticed it looked like they were preparing to turn left because their wheels were turned that direction and they were positioned to do so. But I also observed that their right blinker was on. Well, which one is it, buster? The other driver was sending two conflicting messages: with their blinker they were telling me that they were going right, opposite of me; with their body language I thought they might try to turn directly in my path by going left. Both things can’t be true. But so as to avoid any damage, harm, and further delay, I assumed for a moment that either one could be true.
And so it is that my life seems to sometimes go, hearing what a person says, seeing what they do, finding myself on the defense because I know both can’t be true. Too much contradiction. Too little sincerity. Too much ego and not enough humility. But back to that 4-way stop…
They turned right. Then I turned right. And we both went on with our lives.
Sometimes I wish I could label myself with whatever mood I happen to be in on any given day or in any given moment, so that everyone can see. That way, I don’t have to pretend to be what I’m not. If I’m feeling crummy and I don’t want to deal with people, I don’t want to feign enthusiasm or be fake happy. Because sometimes, well, I’m not. Sometimes I’m irritated with life and exhausted from life and feeling scared and anxious and confused about life. Sometimes I’m angry. Sometimes I’m really, really angry. And I just want to give up because I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of explaining why sometimes I go off the deep end; why there are moments when I just totally shut down.
And I’m alone. I’m always alone, inside. I mean, obviously, but it’s the kind of alone that you feel when you’re with someone and without them; it just doesn’t go away. And I don’t know how to fix that.
I love with my whole heart, I know that. I strive to be genuine in all that I say and do. I’m loyal and dependable. And sometimes, I’m a bitch. Anyone who tries living with me could tell you that. My kids could certainly tell you that. Because, hands down, parenting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and doing it alone just makes it all the more difficult. It tends to, you know, bring out the bitch in me. Lack of sleep, lack of sex, I don’t know. But at times, yeah, it gets me down. Too much to do for so many people. It probably doesn’t help that I manage people’s lives for a living. I am constantly juggling the needs and interests of others. Sometimes I want to put the balls down, but then I remember…
My children are the greatest thing I’ve ever done. I couldn’t be more proud to be their mother. They’ve been there for me as much as I’ve been there for them, always pulling me through the toughest of times; always forgiving me for all the ways that I fail them. Every day I wake up I get the chance to start anew. I get another chance to choose love over fear and anger. *breathe* I get the chance to tell them nicely for the 10th time to please do this or please do that…
…Not likely!! I am giving myself a break on that one. 🙂
We try and we fail. This is our constant sorrow, our never ending struggle, no matter where we are at in our progress or what we happen to be doing. There is effort and yet over and over again, there is failure. The longing to at last succeed is what unnerves us but it is also what drives us. And this is how we are able to grow, ceaselessly and undaunted by the challenges in our lives. In this way, meaning can be found in our mistakes. In this way, we learn to love the process rather than cling to a desired outcome. Because not everything worth doing is always done right.
I can see why some people just decide to spend their life alone with no one to share it with as intimately as you do with someone you love. I can see why some people simply give up on finding someone and making it work. I teeter back and forth with this idea. And I’ve come to accept more than I ever have the possibility of being alone. I’ve come to love who I am when I’m alone, which is to say I’ve come to accept that there is a lot about me to love, regardless of my relationship status. And maybe… just maybe… that’s been the whole point of it all.
Good intentions don’t always yield the results we had hoped for. I found myself spouting this tidbit to a fellow comrade this morning, realizing the relevance it has had in my own life lately.
Rejection tends to leave one feeling broken, weak, and powerless. Instinctually, out of the pain and betrayal I feel, I want to hide behind my fear and anger. And I have done this. But once the dust has settled, once the storm is passed and I am back in touch with the deeper meaning of my life, I choose instead to express love, kindness, forgiveness. Because I believe those are the only things that last; certainly, they triumph over every misguided or ill intention I may have at one time harbored. And unquestionably they are what give my life meaning. I could choose to remain bitter, I could choose to disown those I feel betrayed by, to cast them out of my life like a thorn in my side. But all that does is increase the likelihood of eventually stepping on said thorn, creating more agony and turmoil for me down the road.
Ignoring someone who has hurt us isn’t facing our fears; it’s running away from them, especially when that person is trying only to show us the healing power of love and forgiveness. When we run from fear we run in circles, ending up always right where we started. Progression, growth, these things imply a linear movement forward or upward. They are also impossibilities unless we relinquish our fears and reach towards the light that is the extension of someone’s merciful hand.
Some motivations to express kindness are self-serving. Behind these acts there is a desire to get what we want, to feel better about ourselves, to feel less rejected. I’ve been rejected in love plenty. I now have what you would call a thick skin. You could set me on fire and I’d probably not bat an eye. And yet, to those who I have been hurt by and regardless of whether the same generosity is rendered to me, in the end I will always choose to extend graciousness and benevolence, not with my ego, but with my heart where the purest of intentions coexist often with the deepest well of sorrow and discontent. And in this way, I’d like to think I am destined for growth and for true love.
Let love be your only intention.
I suppose that’s not enough to be blog worthy perhaps. But it’s enough to fill your heart with an exuberance of warm fuzzies. And really, isn’t that what it’s all about? Life is hard. We are all trying to overcome it in some way. Let the love in. Let the love out. Feel the warmness.