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Learning the Words to My Own Song

It’s been three weeks since I left the sunny shores of Crete, Greece.  My time there was lovely although I spent far too much of it ruminating on personal matters that had me throwing away crumbs of joy like I was a feeding a swarm of New York City pigeons.

Crumbs together become handfuls and handfuls become pails and before long there is nothing left.  That joy should have stayed with me but I gave it away.  Compartmentalization is not my specialty.

The good news is that I saw some things from a distance that I could not see up close.

I returned to Southern California and relished alone-time while house-sitting, and some family time with Mom.  In early July, I returned to Mariposa, California.  Here, Bear and I are enjoying fun times together while respectfully negotiating the terms of our relationship.  The goal is for a relationship, whether romantic or platonic, that elevates both of us.

Getting into a mature adult relationship involves appreciation or at least acceptance of each other’s lifestyle.  It is probably no secret that I have found some aspects of the lifestyle here to be difficult and contrary to my tastes.  Denying my own feelings, I have thought “So many people would want this life” which has only been reinforced by the dozens of messages that Bear receives daily saying just that.  Living a simple life in the mountains, mortgage-free, with nature all around – what’s not to love?  It’s not as simple as it appears.

So what is wrong with me?  Why am I not elated?  What is missing?

Nothing.

Except acceptance of myself.  Acceptance of my needs, wants and tastes.

I’ve been in this situation before.  For example, my last job was a creative one.  To anyone that didn’t know the ins and outs of it, it seemed like a dream job.  And yet I disliked it for years.  It took me a decade to accept that it was ok for me to dislike it even though it would be a dream job for someone else.

Who did I think I was?  Why did I deserve any better?  I kept telling myself I was lucky to have a decent job and I suppose I was, if paying my bills was my only measure.  But those of us not born into slavery and poverty have more opportunity than ever before in the history of the world to become ourselves.  And that is an opportunity that should not be wasted!  I was so tired of singing someone else’s song.

And so here I am again.

It’s not that many things aren’t wonderful.  Some things are.  With no hate or bitterness, I am accepting that it is ok to feel what I feel.  It is ok to say what doesn’t work even when I’m not sure what will work.  It is ok to love myself first.

This adventure called life presents so many roads to choose from.  While I physically walk about the world, a more daring journey takes place inside me.  The trail markers are often askew, damaged or missing.  Sometimes they are written in glowing neon on giant billboards.  I’m paying attention.  Not only to seeing them but to believing them.  I have some healing to do.  And I intend to do it.  For the rest of my life.

The place I’m going is called wisdom, self-acceptance, self-love and true freedom.  The closer I get to that destination, the more I have to give to others.  I would rather be an infinitely-flowing pure well than a limited pot of resentment soup.

It’s a process.  It’s a journey.

“The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.”  ―Ming-Dao Deng

14 Comments

  1. Yes! Beautifully written, you are obviously in a good place within yourself. Does my heart good to read.

    • Thank you Jayne. Getting there! Being there!

  2. A beautiful post Laura. I love the analogy of ‘singing my own song’ and being ‘tired of singing the song of others’. You’re telling my life story here – and that of many others as well it seems.

    In addition to the other thoughtful comments of those above, I would add that, at least for some of us, there are many destinations. Some of us seem to be not meant to find ‘the dream’ and then live it, but to need to find a series of dreams, and live them all.

    And if you’re told you’re wrong to do that, then you’re being told you’re wrong to be who you are… and that is fundamentally ridiculous.

    Enjoy being you and enjoy your journeys.

    • Thanks Cecelia. Always good to read your thoughts.

  3. I am glad you were able to step back and breathe in some fresh air. Sometimes the air we are breathing becomes thick and almost suffocating. Greece. You picked a great time to go. I do hope that you continue to experience all of the places that life allows.
    Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
    ENJOY LIFE

    • Great quote. Thanks Kat!

  4. As you set out for Ithaka hope the voyage is a long one, full of adventure, full of discovery. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, angry Poseidon- don’t be afraid of them: you’ll never find things like that on your way as long as you keep your thoughts raised high, as long as a rare excitement stirs your spirit and your body. Laistrygonians and Cyclops, wild Poseidon- you won’t encounter them unless you bring them along inside your soul, unless your soul sets them up in front of you. Hope the voyage is a long one. May there be many a summer morning when, with what pleasure, what joy, you come into harbors seen for the first time; may you stop at Phoenician trading stations to buy fine things, mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony, sensual perfume of every kind- as many sensual perfumes as you can; and may you visit many Egyptian cities to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars. Keep Ithaka always in your mind. Arriving there is what you are destined for. But do not hurry the journey at all. Better if it lasts for years, so you are old by the time you reach the island, wealthy with all you have gained on the way, not expecting Ithaka to make you rich. Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey. Without her you would not have set out. She has nothing left to give you now. And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you. Wise as you will have become, so full of experience, you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

  5. I so respect you. I love this blog. Feelings that you have are so universal when we are in a relationship, but the best part is that you acknowledge that it is INDEED ok to feel that way, AND that nothing is wrong with you for feeling that way! I am always open for a mate, but know that my living alone, does not mean being lonely. I am very busy with my kids, my friends, work, etc. I will not settle for a half assed relationship. it will have to be fulfilling on both ends, full of love, trust, freedom to pursue our goals, on our own……. and together. Good luck and best wishes into growing in heart and soul as you continue your earth walk. You are the perfect example of the saying “we are always in choice”. Much love to you. <3

    • Many thanks Gloria for your kind words and support. It’s always amazing for me, after a post like this, to realize how many people feel the same way and are going through the same stuff. Comforting too.

  6. I am going through the same process. Your words are very encouraging. Thank you!

    • Thank you Amy. Always reassuring to know that we’re not alone!

  7. there are journeys that we are called to take, that can’t be explained to those who are content to just keep their heads above water until the day they die. stay on the path….. but don’t expect there to be a destination. destination is a shape shifter. it only matters that you know that before taking the first step. be well.

    • Thanks for the comment Heather. I agree that destinations are shape-shifters. Very true. I don’t expect that I will ever get “there”. I just hope and try to steadily go in the right direction. Sometimes the right direction turns out to be a U-turn, ten lefts, and a five hops to the right…but in the end it’s right by showing that it’s wrong. 🙂

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