Friday, August 21, 2015

Clearing a Bit of Fog

With the start of school this year, something has returned to my morning that I didn't realize had been missing:  silence.

Not the uncomfortable sort of silence that you get during an awkward conversation.  Not even the lonely sort of silence that stretches out far too long when it is forced on you by circumstances you do not want or by people who do not want you.  This is better than that:  it is the silence that comes from things in your life falling into place, the people in your life happily living their own truths and giving you the space to find that for yourself as well.

It has been a long time coming for me, but I feel some writing about to burst out of me.  There is a torrent of stored up words and thoughts and story ideas, all pent up and waiting to spew out onto the page.

More than anything, I need to make time for them to come out.

For me, though?  That is easier said than done.  A lifetime of habits: of putting the needs of everyone around me ahead of my own, of worrying about meeting the expectations of others while actively shoving my own to the side, of worrying more about pleasing other people than whether or not what I am doing is making me the least bit happy.  Everyone does this sort of thing at some point, but I may very well be the grand champion of people pleasing and self-deferment.

Lately, though, it feels like I may be coming out of that fog.

It's funny that it began to lift when I was first diagnosed with melanoma, and then with breast cancer in rapid succession.  Having to face your own mortality head-on is exhausting and draining and consuming, so much so that very little light got through the cracks for me to see any clear understanding.

But the diagnoses and the pain of lengthy treatment did have a way of helping me as a refiner's fire.   I quickly learned that sometimes I needed a break and that I could say "no" to a few things and the world would not end.  That taking care of myself had to be more of a priority, and that meant not just physically but also spiritually and intellectually, too.  That my needs were important, and should be more important to me - for the sake of everyone around me, honestly.

Important stuff, even when learned later in life.

As I sit here in the silence of this foggy morning, watching the rising sun burn away the mist and seeing the outlines of the trees begin to emerge, it is feeling like a new dawn in so many ways.

Hope is a powerful thing.  But hope with a defined purpose and some hard work gets you a whole lot farther down the road.

(Photo via Luke Andrew Scowen.)

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