On the Universe

The universe is change; our lives are what our thoughts make it.

Marcus Aurelius

It’s my own personal witching hour, 3 am, and it’s been a long few days. A long few weeks, months, years, to be honest. Life today is overall positive after many, many years. For me it’s been a long climb to this plateau where I can gaze back on the path I’ve journeyed and look forward to where I still may go. In looking back, there seems to be a clear demarcation in my life. A moment when a light switch was flipped and I could see truths that I’d been groping in the dark to find, and from that moment, my life became different. It changed in discernible and indiscernible ways. Attention to my outside person translated to attention to my inside person. Confidence, self worth, drive, satisfaction, happiness—all blossomed from that one point. A seeming whirlwind of changes that I have weathered brought me to a place of strength and moments of peace. Many people have entered or reentered my life, some whom I feel I’ve known forever and built lasting friendships, and some that were transient, to perhaps test my new found truths. I’ve learned valuable lessons, grace and gratitude, and found people that inspire and help me to continue to grow. In all cases, my life today is very different than even a short year or two ago. I am living a life I only dreamed I would, a dream I momentarily gave up in the darkest times of my life. Life IS good.

And yet, but yet…

Change. Change is coming again. On many fronts, personal and professional. A popular saying is that the only constant in life is change. For someone like me, who spent most of her life struggling against change, struggling to let go, this is a difficult concept to accept as a permanent feature in my life. Of course as I can see these changes, I can prepare for them, even perhaps anticipate them coming with joy. And to some extent, I feel like I’ve been successfully navigating so many changes recently this should be easy, par for the course. But it’s not. Because I’ve veered off into uncharted waters, and though I know I can do this, there is also the tinge of anxiety that I feel each time with facing the unknown, a sense of trepidation. And with that anxiety I know once again doubt and indecision, blossoming like a black stain spreading inside out through the fabric of my soul, and I see my outside self falling back to my past self as fear gains traction and settles into a cloud of malaise and melancholy. At times, I get angry and disappointed in my progress. This spurs a further downward spiral, and thunder clouds gather in the distance, but now of my own making. My heart aches once more, this time ironically with a deeper sense of being flawed, a gaping hole that weeps with new loss. And I pause to think: how many times must a heart break before the soul says, no more?

Because when I think back to that moment in time when the light switch was flipped, I thought it was arbitrary–a serendipitous combination of personal and external circumstances that resulted in that event. But when I really ponder the moment and what transpired, it wasn’t arbitrary. It was a moment that my soul said—no more. No more self-inflicted pain. No more fear. No more self doubt and selling your dreams for what seems to be a comfortable existence. My soul said—love yourself. Love yourself more than all those illusions that you believe that hold you back. Throw off the chains that you have bound yourself in that make you unhappy, that stilt your growth, that bind your dreams, that slowly kill your soul. I heard this message and started to live it. I loved myself enough to shake off fear, to do things I’d always wanted to do, to go for it. And life has been a magic carpet ride since then. Until recently.

Lately, I’ve been waking and feeling like I’ve surfaced from a lake, gasping for breath. I don’t often remember my dreams so this imagery, repeated over and over these past couple of months, has been a notable feature. Last night I finally understood what my subconscious mind has been saying. It was this. What I didn’t realize was that though that one moment when the light was turned on, the moment that spurred so much personal growth, was important, it wasn’t the final solution. It was just the moment I woke up. And as I continue on my journey, now that I am awake I realize I need to step up my game. To be stronger, so I can keep climbing higher still. Because it’s clear that I still need to heal from things that crept into the crevices when I didn’t love myself so much. That set up home and continue to spawn insecurities and try to propagate the past. I’ve been binding some of them with bandaids, but like a deep wound that has putrefied, I need to take the bandage off and debride the wound so it can truly heal. I need to let the oxygen in, to let the wounds breathe, to heal and scar over. An old friend keeps telling me be kind to myself. What she’s really been telling me is heal myself. She’s also the one, soon after I had my a-ha moment when the lights went on, sent me a T-shirt with the saying “Made of star stuff.” I didn’t realize then that she was telling me the whole universe is inside me.

One thought on “On the Universe

  1. There was once a person in my life who fought change, said they did not want things to change – wanted them to always stay the same. I kept telling this person, “Life is ‘change’. If you are not changing with it, you are not just standing still – you are going backward as the rest of the world moves forward and away from you. If you are not willing to change, you are being left behind by the world. Eventually, this person was so far back, I could no longer spot them when I looked back.

    The pain you have experienced in your past will continue to crop up to be re-thought, re-worked and put back in its place. The more you grow, the less the frequency of this occurrence becomes. However, be aware that each time you must re-work it, you are at a deeper level. The pain may be more intense — albeit for a shorter length of time, but only if you continue to grow and change with that growth. If you try to avoid the pain, it will bind you back to where you were – for however long you choose to remain in that pain. It is not easy to grow and change, but it is a necessity — and as you grow, the pain will become less. The serenity prayer helps much in times when one feels overwhelmed.

    Thank You for sharing! Have a Happy and Blessed New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

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