Ooh, epiphanies. Gotta love ‘em, especially those rare, brighter than bright ones that linger long enough for you to sink a smidgen deeper into a cosy “Ah, yes, now I see!” space. I love that they bring an assurance that all is blessedly right with my world. In those milliseconds, spaced-out and feeling groovy, I always beg, “Let me stay right here forever, please!” Then poof, the spell is broken and gone are those luscious feelings. Worse is that the insight often disappears, too, which really gets my goat.
Despite the desire to remain at-one with bliss and keep a tight hold on all that motivating awareness, most of us have been persuaded to believe we cannot, or should not, try. That place of grace and clarity is the realm of higher beings and not designed for mere mortals, some say. Others claim we are not actually meant to experience these fragments of pure peace at all, that they are a kind of madness inspired euphoria and very dangerous to our frail human brains. Methinks the likes of Oprah and Walt Disney might disagree.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, I bought the tee-shirt to show my support for the downer postulations I’ve just mentioned. Thing is, I don’t look good in tee’s – never have been a fan – and in due time I found outfits that better suited me. Later, I would ask myself why I got into stuff that went so against the grain. The answer is that at one point in my life I lost my way (and my fashion sense). I scoffed at intuition, denied my potential, and became proficient in the use of the word “but”. It was easier to give in than to keep up the fight against the tee-shirt wearing masses.
Funnily enough, now I’m grateful I succumbed. Having done so means I can declare without hesitation that following any crowd that maligns and denounces our capacity for untainted joy in this lifetime is rubbish – absolute, unmitigated, nonsensical, tomfoolery. How can I be so absolutely sure? Well, let me tell you how.
The worst years of my life (don’t panic, I will explain more about my use of “worst” further along) are blurry now. Memories remain. I can sense them, they just don’t carry the same cachet they once did. I’m not saying my life isn’t littered with blunders and dark colours, or that there wasn’t trauma and difficulty. What I’m saying is that the clutter produced by them is sorted. You could say I don’t live there anymore, that my memory of what was, is altered. And by what “was” I mean yesterday, or last month, or thirty years ago.
You’ve all read about my so-called insanity and know something of where I’ve been and who I was. I’ve shared essential and nonessential musings about what it was like for me growing up misunderstood and misjudged and how that treatment discombobulated me. I’ve told you about dropping more balls than I can count and letting down more people than I can remember. I’ve told and retold the story about not liking myself and how my treatment of others often stemmed from that self-loathing. (Hurt begets hurt.) There are secrets I’ve shone a light on, details I’ve pushed myself to write about and therefore face; but, have no doubt, there are issues I’ve not revealed to you because they remain too painful. To be fair, I’m still a work in progress as the popular adage boasts. But in this montage of what “was”, there blossoms happiness and gratitude right “now”. For here and now I actually experience what once I glimpsed only in dreams or, of course, during sweet epiphanies.
Over the last three-and one-half years I have changed – a lot. When this journey began, I vowed to take full responsibility pour moi, be accountable, and as honest as possible about anything and everything in my life. I promised to dismantle walls shored up over decades (perhaps lifetimes), construct a new language to replace a defeatist one, examine unfettered the unexamined, and stop complaining. I would do it all while chasing my dream of moving to the UK. And so, it goes. I did it and a great deal more. The “me” who began this adventure by outlining her plan in a video (because the words would not come in print), is gone. The woman writing this blog to you today is a different one.
Gone are the defensive reactions, excuses, and stories of bad versus good and me versus them. I am at once comfortable in my skin and okay with the wild and crazy world around me. If you offered me a tee-shirt today, I wouldn’t accept it, but would express my thanks before declining.
Today, there are no “worsts” in my life. The word is used mostly to describe awkward hair days, of which I have few and many. He-he. Instead, my life with all its foibles and missteps, highs and lows, bears witness in its entirety to the exquisite enterprise called living. I am a human being, being human, and my choice of being is bliss. It’s that simple and that hard rolled into one. Simple, because if we invite it and allow it, it’s ours for the taking. Hard because it has taken decades of inner struggle to get here.
My wish is that we all take the simple road no matter how hard. It is a path paved in white flags and humility. It is dampened by our tears and stained with our blood. It was carved out thousands of lifetimes ago and continues to expand with each breath we take. It is the only road to a sustainable freedom. Care to take a walk with me?