Monday, September 20, 2010

Propelling Forward

"When a woman is too far gone from home, she is less and less able to propel herself forward in life."- Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With Wolves

For me, Home is being kind to myself.

Kindness.

It's the spark before hope.

It's the bark before soap.

I'm sorry, I had to write that. It rhymed and it just kept begging me to write it out. I've deleted it twice, but it makes me happy to take a serious thought and smash it up with dorkiness.

Blame my father.  In my family, you are praised for fart jokes.

Okay, okay, where was I?

Oh yeah.

Kindness.

It's the .... *sigh*..."Okay.  I'm okay."

It's the safety net of relief below the tight rope walk of tension and doubt.

It arrives in the 11th hour.
 
And it's the sweetest gift you could ever bestow on yourself.

How you treat yourself colors everything you do, think, feel.  If you're hard on yourself, you will be hard on everyone around you.  It will paralyze you.  You will be a lawyer with no one to blame.  When you choose to treat yourself with kindness (and it is a choice), it's like a dose of morphine to an ailing body.  The complicated sharp edges of life melt away into a smooth, quiet river. "Peace like a river"- the Bible says.  And right before a unicorn comes galloping around the corner, you get hit with something.  The edges start to turn sharp and jagged again.  Something rocks you and a new lesson is to be learned.  You're swimming in new waters, but you trust your ability to swim.  And so life's never ending wave pool rolls on.

I used to believe that life would eventually settle.  I would arrive at that magical destination place where things would be figured out, Challenge would be a thing of the past, marriage would be perfect, diapers would be changed, kids would not turn into humans that will bear broken hearts, people would be reconciled, stories would be told, I'd morph into Gwyneth Paltrow and Ed would morph into Al Pacino (Godfather 1),  laundry would forever be caught up and a mocha would be on my bedside table each morning (*handed to me by Edward Cullen since he doesn't sleep and would have been up all night watching me sleep because he's THAT in love).

I've got another good 50 years to live (God willing) and I'm pretty sure I'll have some "Why?!!" questions for God when my time is up.  And He can handle them.  But in the mean time I've gotta find beauty in the small, hard things.  The mundane.  The brokenness.  The average.  The overlooked and neglected.  The UNbeautiful.  The last, but not least.  The cobb-weby, dust bunny corners.  Cause folks, if we wait around for that rainbow- we'll spend our lives waiting.

When you love something, you nurture it.  You treat it kindly.  When you love yourself, you treat yourself kindly.  You have a bad day and know "kindness" isn't a tub of ice-cream.  Maybe it's a glass of wine and a bath.  Maybe it's cooking a nice meal after the kids go to bed and savoring it.  Maybe it's a nice 2 mile run.  Maybe it's just *gasp* a walk.  Maybe it's something other than mistreatment.  And maybe you don't have to eat your feelings or hate yourself.  Maybe you're allowed to have a bad day.  And maybe you're okay.  Because this is life and we're all human.  

What you do day in and day out is what you're doing with your life.  Don't spend your life in tension.  Don't spend your life striving to be important.  Don't spend your life being friends with the right people.  Or buying the big house.  Or being the right size.

Think on your death bed- what will you savor?  What will you regret?

Today:  Do what you're doing with your life.  And stop waiting.

*My husband is not jealous of my Edward fantasies.  He thinks it's "cute."  Plus, his name is Edward too, so if I call out "Edward," it's all good.  

6 comments:

Meghan said...

Well done, friend. These are all good things you have written here.

edgordon said...

Wait, you get to wish I was Al Pacino from GF1, but I am stuck w/ you being Mrs. Coldplay? Not fair at all. Aim for Kim Novak in Vertigo.

Jen Gordon said...

Kim Novak? Where is this coming from? Do I need to get a blonde wig and some late 50's attire?

edgordon said...

Do I need to get fangs and powder?

Jennifer Johnson McCuller said...

I love this conversation that is happening here....Love your words too...all so true.

Jenn said...

Love this.

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