Reverb10. December 28.
Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. (from Tara Sophia Mohr, author of The Women’s Seder Sourcebook: Rituals & Readings for Use at the Passover Seder)
I’ve been turning this question over in my mind all day. The temptation was to shrug my shoulders, claim fatigue and forget about it. But I knew it wouldn’t go away. This question, in one form or another, has been tugging at my shirtsleeve since Ben died. One one hand, there’s the to-do-list me, the one who feels like a failure and keeps hoping success is around the next corner. The one with plenty of ideas but not enough steam. The one who is never satisfied. On the other hand is the grieving-mama-awakening-Spirit who is learning to trust that each time my foot settles into its newest piece of earth, there is a reason. The one who has watched life provide the right people at the right time these last months. The one whose ideal home appeared the day after writing a classified ad to the Universe.
Particularly at this time of endings and beginnings, of resolutions and intentions, I am tempted to write a recovering perfectionist’s list of everything I’ve ever wanted to do, and then write 2011 at the top. When I think about picking up the pen, there’s this quiet voice that whispers, Be Careful. I’m afraid if I start thinking about lists and achieving, I will fall into old – destructive – habits I’ve recently begun to step out of. The habits that brought me to this place of grief and growth, direct causal link or not.
When I sit with myself and stop thinking long enough to listen, there is an easy answer to the above question. I want to allow myself to live the grief process fully. To mourn my son 100% and allow the change that brings with an open, trusting heart. That is likely not something I can complete in 2011, but my instincts tell me that come the first anniversary of his death, I will be standing in myself in a new way.
Closing my eyes to imagine how that feels, I see the world as though after a battering rain – cleansed, sharp, bathed in a holy light. And I am a force for good in the world, standing up for what feels right with honesty, compassion and love. Maybe with some cute leggings, a cape and a magic lasso to complete the look.
To get there – wherever there is – all I have to do is hold the vision as truth, make choices in line with my deepest truths and trust the process.
And I’ll make a few lists on the side – of the helpful, inspiring, non-kryptonite kind.