Sunday, October 25, 2009
Wanting it both ways... and getting it
Most of the time, I don't think of myself as a greedy person. I am (usually) willing to give up the last bagel or piece of pie if someone else wants it. I am (usually) willing to let someone skip me in the supermarket line if he or she has fewer items and seems to be in a rush. You want the parking space badly enough to glare at me across two car hoods and dashboards? By all means, take it. Even when I am the airport waiting to board a long-anticipated flight to the place where my soul finds rest, if someone seems adamant about getting onto the airplane before me, if someone's urge to use the cramped, smelly lavatory exceeds my own, I gladly and patiently step aside. "Go right ahead. I can wait."
But when it comes to matters of the heart, when it comes to relationships, to love and friendship, to peace at home and abroad, when it comes to health and safety, I want it all. I want it now. I don't want to wait my turn. I don't want to allow anyone to get at "it," whatever "it" is, before me.
I want it both ways.
I want to share love and give love freely to others.
And I want a whole lot for myself.
I want plenty of time to spend with my family and friends.
And I want plenty of time for myself by myself.
I want to reach out to others, with email, text messages, snail mail, phone calls. And I want them to reach out to me likewise.
I want empty times, empty spaces, empty days.
And I want days and places and moments that are filled to overflowing.
As a (relatively) rational, clear-headed, spiritually-minded adult, I understand that fullness and emptiness, that bounty and want, that sunshine and rain, that calm seas and stormy ones, that joy and sorrow are cycles through which I will pass throughout the course of my life. Sickness comes, and sickness goes. Strength abounds and then it abandons me. Loneliness ebbs and flows as well - even in the midst of a busy household and surrounded by loving, caring, attentive friends. I get that. But still...
But still, there are many times over the course of the average year/month/day/hour, when I find that my soul is hungry, my bones are tired, and every part of me is profoundly lonely. As a woman, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, I often feel unappreciated and disrespected and forgotten. At those moments, I begin to wish for things and people and situations and relationships that are not mine to have. I lust. I long for. I crave. I covet. I fantasize. I plan my next escape. And next time, I promise myself, I will buy a one-way ticket. No more round trip passage for me.
I promise myself that things are gonna change.
Enough is enough.
I'm out of here.
Cause this sucks.
I've had it.
I've been so good for so long.
It's time to be real, to be true, to live out my dreams.
On my own terms.
I want it all.
And I want it now.
Deep breath. Deep sigh.
Deep sorrow. Deep cry.
I already have it all.
I have absolutely everything I have ever needed and most of what I want.
Food, shelter, clothing.
Health, strength, safety.
Love, friendship, connection.
Laughter, music, dancing.
Peace, hope, a future.
My appreciation for the beauty of a calm ocean is deepened after passing through a stormy night. My appreciation for good health is heightened after passing through a season of illness. Solitude means much more to me after days and weeks of ceaseless activity and tending to the needs of others above and before myself.
When I step back from the striving, the pushing, the determined efforts,
when I look back at all the people I have met and known and loved,
at all the journeys and resting places that have defined my life,
when I take a few moments to prayerfully consider the wonder of life
and the beauty of this world,
when I still myself enough to hear and see and truly notice my life as it is
right here, right now, at this moment,
it is then that I realize that empty or full, lonely or surrounded,
ravenous or satiated, angry or at peace, exhausted or well-rested,
remembered or abandoned, welcomed or rejected,
at all times, in all places,
I have all that I need.
I am blessed in heavenly places - and earthly ones too.
And I am grateful.
Thanks be to God.