This morning Steve took Ada to school so I could have a little more time to myself. As I walked the ocean path with our dog, I found myself feeling the tiniest bit guilty for how happy I was to be by myself, moving my body through space, listening to music that makes my soul light up. There’s still a touch of post-Benjamin fear in me that if I’m too happy when Ada isn’t around, she’ll be taken from me. I wondered at the lightness I felt, the sense of ease that comes most often when I am alone. We have fun together, our little family, but lately there’s been a cloud of stress hanging over us. Still recovering from Ben’s death, financial worries and emotional challenges have kept us from experiencing the ease I so desperately wanted at the beginning of the year. I believe that I can choose ease in any situation, it just seems easier when I’m on my own.

I don’t always take advantage of my time alone. I get stuck answering emails and trying to catch up on my favorite blogs. I’ve hardly sent a tweet in weeks (months?) and while my head tells me I need to do these things in order to keep up, my heart is telling me I am in a time of fallow. I am burrowing into myself, into the center of my life. I am deepening my connection to Spirit, I am spending time in Nature, I am journaling instead of writing publicly. All of those things are necessary and I have given myself permission to do them.

Still, there’s a desire to get more done. To have 8 hour days to commit to my work.  To want to cross more things off the I-really-want-to-do-this list. To fast track my earning potential.  Then I look at my daughter’s smile and her bright eyes. I listen to her conversation changing, her thought processes developing, her made-up songs and nonsensical words and I think how privileged I am to be able to witness this, to find joy in it. I realize how privileged I am to love this deeply.

It is hard for me to rest. There is a voice in my head that talks of momentum and reach and whispers should in every other sentence. I recognize that voice now and I know it’s not mine. I am seeing my stories more clearly and am working to love them and let them go. I need them less and less as I grow more into myself. There are stories about parenting, about marriage, about being liked, about making money. There are stories about sex and betrayal and wounding. There are stories about family and friends, about community and being left behind. In getting quiet, in meditation and dance, in writing and doing yoga, I am learning where the stories stop and I begin.

I think that’s why it’s easier to feel joyful when I am alone. There’s no one else’s story to get wrapped up in and I’m more able to drop my own. They’re fun to look at, to turn over in my hand like a piece of sea glass, marveling at how the waves smoothed the edges and churned it from beer bottle to jewel.  But I am not that jewel, as pretty as it is. I am learning, slowly, remembering what I am. The waves of life, the waves of grief, have smoothed my edges enough that the light is shining through.

In those moments when the stories drop, the joy comes in and the ego steps aside, I recognize my beauty. I feel the warmth of my light. We are meant to be Love. We are meant to shine.

I’ve been listening to this song on repeat, and on this day, the 2nd anniversary of the first time I hit publish, it feels like a beautiful version of happy birthday to me.

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5 Responses to Shine

  1. Roos says:

    Happy 2nd! I’m trying to cut back on ‘screentime’ as much as possible, but still wanted to let you know this: take your time. It’s OK, your friends will be waiting!

  2. Hi again,
    I love your post today. You clearly have a different path than mine, having lost your husband to death. I am struggling with being able to grieve and process trauma when living with my husband. He finds the strong emotions I sometimes need to express, frightening, and rarely wants to talk about his role in some of the things that happened in the past. My therapist and doctor both tell me, which I believe, that there is no way around grieving, if I want to heal. Still, it makes me sad and I can relate to your need and love of alone time. Yes, I think many women here that should voice in their heads all to much. The song is a beautiful part of your post too. Music can say so much more than words, at times, and is a large part of my healing process.

  3. Oops. I realized that Ben was your son. I missed that part having discovered your blog part way through. I have lost three unborn children to pregnancy loss, blessedly none were a stillbirth. My heart goes out to you and the courage you must have to work on rebuilding your life. My third pregnancy loss was an ectopic pregnancy that nearly killed me and I struggled with that grief for several years and writing saved my life too. Nature was also a big piece of the healing.

    I don’t think I figured out how to subscribe, but I do follow your blog most days. It lifts my spirits.

  4. happy 2nd, sugar. it’s comforting to have the structure of a job-outside-the home. the distraction is quite nice, making trips to the bank with deposit slips in hand is fun. and i don’t have to tell you that there’s nothing – not a thing – wrong with that. i don’t have to tell you that it’s okay to shoot the shoulds. i don’t have to tell you that every woman needs time to her self, to feel her body move through space unencumbered. i don’t have to tell you that the ego has its place, that it needs to partner with essence. i don’t have to tell you that there is time for doing and accomplishing and checking things off. i don’t have to tell you that fallowing and burrowing and nature are every bit as necessary as oxygen. i don’t have to tell you that your post-benjamin fear resonates with me, that i love you, that you are an amazing woman. i don’t have to tell you, but i am. i’m telling.

  5. Laura says:

    Another really lovely post – thank you!

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