Although holding onto the memory of that breath-taking moment flying over the Rockies has not been hard, I have not been able to hold onto the emotional freedom that had allowed me to be present in that marvelous moment ever so briefly. I do not understand how I was able to reach that point of engagement; but duty called quickly, and there has been no time to figure it out. No time until one beautiful summer day when I went for a walk and was gifted with a second glimpse of an emotionally freeing experience.
While oblivious is too strong a word, I am rarely mindful of the world around me when I walk. Normally, my mind is occupied with the things I will have to do when I got back home; what needs to be done to move to the next step of some project I am working on or what work may have been overlooked in the project that I have just completed. Though I often thought about bringing my music to listen to so that I could drowned-out the racing thoughts for a while, that idea only comes to me after I have already left home. The one other thought that captures my attention while walking is the need to be on guard for potential danger.
But, on this particular summer day I had gotten a call that family was on their way over. I knew they would have to pass me on their way to my house, and I knew about how long it would take them to arrive. I decided that, although I had time to finish my walk, I needed to stay plugged into what was happening around me instead of surrendering to the thoughts in my head so that I didn’t miss seeing them drive by. About three quarters of the way through my walk I realized something different was happening on to me.
I was hearing the tranquility of a slow-paced Sunday with the birds singing in the woods and a woodpecker knocking on one of the trees beside me. Murmuring in the background, the steady movement of traffic formed a percussive hum in tempo with the sounds of nature. I felt incredibly connected and realized how much of life I must have been missing by rushing around in my head keeping up with my stuff in order to just remain accountable.
As I have pondered the alive-ness that I felt from these two incredible events, I have allowed myself to slowly accept that this world has been surrounding me all along, and that maybe if I could give myself permission to become a little more connected to the pace of the world….
Give myself permission: allow; decide; choose.
Action verbs that have kept coming back at me head on.
Allow myself to enjoy life;
Decide to reach out and be part of the world around me;
Choose to be the me I feel inside not the me people expect me to be.
For whatever reason, I have accepted my narrow life without question. However, being thrust on my own by change and circumstance set up an environment in which I have felt the emptiness that my over-focused life has left behind and the hunger to feel less isolated, less alone, less lonely has been pressing in on me.
Facing the ‘why’ of how I had let my live become about tasks and work rather than love and people has been a critical part of my journey. However, to move forward, I realize that understanding the past is not going to be enough to create the change I now thirst for. I have given myself permission twice to just be present without guilt or panic and it felt nice. If I could give myself permission to be that open with others, who would I be?
Who could I become?
What more could I have in my life?
If I could learn to give myself permission…