“I don’t need a cloak to become invisible,” Dumbledore, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
I hate not to be heard. I feel invalidated. The anger that rises within me is out of proportion to the situation. Why?
Without finding an answer I can still reach equilibrium.
I can know that I am loved by myself and others. I can understand that others’ distance, disinterest or deafness is not a personal affront to me. Even when it is directed toward me it rarely comes from ill-intent or lack of love.
The first thing I must do for myself is understand that I have what I need within me. That if necessary I can pour my love and connection into a vacuum and still be a whole person. I cannot be diminished by others or by their actions.
Then I want to examine myself and my own behavior. I must sometimes be guilty of the same behavior that I rebel against. Do I always listen? Do I always hear? Am I paying attention? Am I present?
Still time enough to explore the sore spots that feel re-injured when my voice doesn’t carry.
“The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, God is under the porch as well as on top of the mountain, and joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.”
― Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have
Sometimes I wake up convinced that I need a plan. Although following my nose through my day is my great bliss, I look at my growing “to get done” list and wonder if it will ever grow shorter instead of longer. That’s when I click into linear mode. I should recognize by now that my Seven* nature under stress goes to One*. I feel the need to organize and accomplish. I worry about purpose. Am I worthwhile if I don’t prioritize? Ah, the spiral downward…
In a mindset defined by results I forget that every moment of my life is what it should be: hanging clothes or stopping to eat raspberries with the basket tucked under one arm; going to the shop to get meat from the freezer for dinner or pulling a weed from beneath the rose bush on my way there; diminishing the pile of papers on my desk or lingering over the photos of my trip to Italy.
Life is an accomplishment. Being alive to all that is around me is purpose. And gratitude is recognizing each moment as a gift from God who is everywhere.
*Points in the Enneagram
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou’s quotations have influenced my inner dialogue for several years. It wasn’t just that she reduced philosopy into pithy and pertinent sayings; more, it was that her conversations were homilies. Her ease and acceptance with herself and the world around her created an object lesson that was easily assimilated.
Her belief that life was a series of lessons from which we all learn helped me quiet my inner critic. She helped me comprehend that although I have made, still make, and will continue to make huge mistakes, I am not malicious or evil. I am a student of life who wants to live to my greatest spiritual potential. The rocks in the road that trip me up are those things that need my attention. They are route corrections for me to assimilate in order to keep moving forward.
I am thankful for all the gifts she has left for me to open as I am ready. Her words and her example are lasting legacies.