21 May, 2010

There is so much more...

I have various memories over the last few years of this question running through my head “Is this all there is?” and sighing.  Living a stagnate life was never what I imagined for myself and yet that stagnate life was the one I found myself living, in part.  I don’t kid myself in thinking that I didn’t know what needed to change – I knew.  I knew what I wanted and what I needed to do.  Yet, as often happens in life, I had reasons for not making the change.  I pulled away to the extent that I could; I found other means of expressing myself; and I built communities to round out the rest of my life… but I still found myself, every few months, restless with the full understanding that I wanted different.  I knew that there was more and that there is more.  It was just a matter of coming to terms with the impact of my choices, were I to make them.  Coming to terms with the reality that love doesn’t mean being together as much as it means accepting and letting go.

As it would come to pass – I didn’t have to make the choice to leave.  I had to make the choice to fully embrace love being about accepting and letting go and forgiving. 

I have not taken the time to consider “what if” as in what if I had made the move one of the many times I said enough was enough.  What if I had made the choice given that I understood that there was more and is more and that I wanted more?  I had reasons for not making the choices and the changes – and I didn’t make the choices or the changes.  Yet would it have been easier for everyone had I taken the bull by the horns and done it? 

It is fruitless to take that  “what if” path as the choices I made are those I made – the choices to change fell to another. 

The irony, I haven’t looked back.

I dislike greatly what my daughter has experienced – the grief, the loss, and the anger. 

Yet, for her and for me, I celebrate the change because  - there is so very much more out there for both of us than the life we were living.  The opportunities we have to learn, to grow, and to experience life are too numerous to count. 

“I want to be content with what I have.” Was the sentiment expressed.  Quite a reversal for this friend who used to dream and want better and more.  But I know how he feels.  How many years did I spend wanting to be content with what I had?  What was missing really as I was content… content and very aware that there was more to be experienced, to be lived, and to be shared!  It is one thing to be content with one’s life – I suppose that is a comfortable place for some especially if what they have is something they didn’t find to be a happy life before… But for me… perhaps contentment comes with not what I have today exactly but the person I am today and the life that stretches before me?  Perhaps contentment is the realization that I am living as fully as possible – that I am dreaming again and creating, and open to the experiences and opportunities that come my way.

As I sit writing this, I have to admit that I have no idea what the future holds.  I don’t ask “Is this all there is” because I know that every minute of every day offers something new and different even if that is just a change in the way I wear my hair or the person to whom I talk on the phone or an article I read that leaves me pondering.  My life is more about love than ever, and that is a fabulous feeling in itself.  No longer are there areas of stagnation.  It might not be smooth sailing ahead, but the waters are moving!

It is one thing for people to realize that there is more – that there life could be different.  It is another to take the jump and to say – not only could it be different, but I am going to see how and what can be accomplished or experienced.  And when there are kids involved… the choices are more challenging as not only are we changing our own lives, but we are potentially changing theirs in big or small ways. 

The process starts with the realization that there is more or there might be more… and once that realization is there, it doesn’t like to be denied.

I didn’t take the jump, but once pushed – I have to admit I feel grateful. 

I am more myself than I have been in a few years – I am one person instead of two (one fully living and one part stagnate)

I no longer see the obstacles as much as I see the possibilities…

What else is out there?  What experience can I try next?  How will my life unfold?  What does this person or that trip or the man over there or the friend over here or the woman or the child or the world at large have to teach me today??

“Is this all there is?”

The answer – No!  Let go, open your heart, silence the worries and the fears, listen to yourself and… trust…

There is much more – endless opportunities await when you are ready for them!






Sara said...

Oh, I loved this post. What an affirming post. Look at you!!! You and your daughter have overcome so much, but it's made you stronger. I don't mean a physical strength; I mean a character strength.

I believe we get life lessons that allow us to make choices. We can get stuck in them or find our own way out.

You have gone through the dark tunnels and climbed out of them. What happens now is the story of you and your daughter. Be proud of yourself...you deserve it.

BTW I loved what your daughter wrote about the dragonfly so much, I updated the post and put her poem in it at the end...take a look when you get a chance. She's got lots of talent...bet that comes from her mom:~)

Davina said...

I love the last line of this, "There is much more – endless opportunities await when you are ready for them!"

Cause, when you're not ready you just won't see OR appreciate the opportunity. Sometimes, as you've done, we create our opportunities by making choices... turning down a certain path.

It sounds pretty much that you were walking down a calculated, narrow path before. Now your world has opened up to be much larger for you both. Congrats! :-)

chaniagirl said...

I think what was lovely about this post is that all of us have been exactly where you were (and are) at one time or another. This was a post I could truly relate to.

One of the things I am learning in life is that there is a time for everything. And I have discovered that my own inner self is aware of this timing: it knows when to be still and be grateful for all that it has (contentment), and it knows when there is something more and it's time to take risks.

Bravo, you, for taking the risks that you did despite the obstacles that would face you. This has made you stronger. Stronger and wiser.


Wilma Ham said...

Oh TE, this is great that you can look at life this way; "It is one thing for people to realize that there is more – that there life could be different. It is another to take the jump and to say – not only could it be different, but I am going to see how and what can be accomplished or experienced."
We can either stay stuck and mourn what was, or take life's lead and let the unexpected experiences shake our beliefs into new ones.
Yes, it takes courage to live life differently and step into the unknown, BUT it is the only way.
And make sure you have people who have uplifting conversations because you do need all the support you can get. I am cheering you on, you are doing fabulous.
Hugs Wilma

dadshouse said...

I think this is all there is, and the trick is to find the beauty and joy in what's right there. Stagnant is not good. Being aware is a great start finding vitality.

Aurora said...

Very interesting. You made me think.

For so long I craved love (meaning a mate).

Then I learned to accept being alone and enjoying it without feeling lonely.

Then I took contentment and relished it because it meant lack of pain.

Is it enough? In its own way, it has become a springboard to find love of self, love of life, love of a spiritual connection I never used to believe in and now find a great source of insight and peace.

I gave up on my dreams of romance and babies of my own -- and settled for doing what I can to be the kind of person I respect, like and trust.
Odd, but at 52 I am becoming the mate I always wanted:)

The Exception said...

Sara – Thanks. I think that there are dark places along every path – part of the experience is finding the beauty of the dark and then moving back into the light. We have been through a lot this past year. While I have celebrated it for myself – it has been challenging to view it as a mother and to watch my daughter struggle through it and work to find her way knowing that she is at an age where I can offer guidance but it is something she has to learn on her own. She is getting there but there is a long way to go.
And she is the poet!! Thank you!

Davina – It is amazing what we can’t see when we aren’t ready or open to seeing it – and yet when we are ready, it is right there… waiting to be seen! It was self imposed narrowness that I realized but kept feeling that I was doing what was best for my daughter – and what was comfortable and known for me. And now… the sky is the limit!

CG – It is nice to know that where I am and have been is not uncharted waters! My inner self is the wise part of me – I have to remember to stop, silence the world around me – and listen more often… and then trust what I am hearing. This past year has been an exercise in remembering to trust myself and what I know over what I am being asked to believe.

Wilma – Thanks! It is interesting to be returning to more the person I have always been now – as I was that person who was up for seeing what life had to offer thus I found myself in Ireland when I had planned to intern in Australia, I found myself a mother (what an amazing lesson there) when I had planned passionately to change the world in a very different way…But life unfolds and it is the bends in the path and the bumps that are exciting. The challenge for me has always been the patience to let life unfold…
Being a mom changed that a little as I have to learn to support my daughter and the differences in her personality and her experiences. I have to learn to have the patience for our lives together and the acceptance and trust that goes with that. And thanks for the support!!

David – Yes, Right here and now, in this moment, this is life. However, being open to everything that is in that moment and taking the risks that arise or seeing the opportunities that come in each moment… that allows me to believe that there is different beyond. Life, for me, is not just about the house and the job and the kid and the schedule that is reflected day in and day out, it is being open to something different and the risks and the opportunities such that I can see them. Does that make sense?

Aurora – This is a wonderful thought. Contentment is a springboard into finding other aspects or depth or opportunities or enrichment. It sounds as if you have found the beauty of you… and that is something to celebrate. Thank you for sharing this and for bringing a smile to my day as your words definitely did.