I’m not strong.
I’ve recently had some conversations with a couple of folks that tell me that how people perceive me is not how I feel.
If that makes any sense.
One mentioned to me in an email that it was a good thing I was strong. The context was that I would need to be strong to handle a project we are both involved in. While I responded that yes, I had my strong moments, inside I was thinking that strength was not what was needed in this project.
Compassion, unconditional love and firm boundary setting is needed, but not strength.
Then I was discussing the same project with another person, who asked me, “did it even occur to you to be concerned about driving over the pass in the winter time?”
I paused, smiled, and said, “NO!”
She laughed and I laughed. Because really, it didn’t. And she knows me pretty well and respects me enough to ask about things rather than make an inaccurate judgment call. And several other people have asked me about that as well. They’ve got an excuse, they just met me. But I’m puzzled. I’ve got a 4-wheel drive pickup with snow tires. And over 30 years experience living in and driving in snow. Why on earth would I be concerned?
They see it as strength. I see it as a natural outcome of a strong foundation in spiritual practice. This practice results in me having an endurable and very capable connection with That Thing that is the true strength, the true power.
No, I am not strong. I’m just connected.
I’m not busy either.
I get that a lot. “You’re so busy!” The other day someone asked me how I did all the things I do. I explained to her that I never did anything that wasn’t fun (I do, however, see a lot of things as fun) and never did anything I didn’t want to do. And that I really wasn’t that busy.
Let’s face it, I get to do a lot of cool stuff. Both professionally and personally. I believe life is full and rich and should be experienced to the max. Lived full on. I love that Hunter S. Thompson quote: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow!’”
I like to proclaim “wow!” On a regular basis. And WEEHAW! And WOOGIE! Because some years back I made a commitment to myself that I would not argue for my limitations. This means I refuse to say no if it means experiencing another aspect of living life full on.
Do I have times when I must retreat and hide under the covers and lick my wounds? You bet. It’s called grief work. It’s called forgiveness. It’s called taking personal responsibility. It’s called a lot of things and we all have to do those things or we simply shrivel up into miserable old excuses for humanity. Hateful, judgmental, suspicious, fearful. Then we get sick and die. I don’t want to live like that. So I take care of my wounds, and then come out, once again living life full on, saying yes to what comes as a result of my spiritual practices.
No, I am not busy. I’m just connected.
And I also know that when we label others with descriptions like these, those descriptions speak more to ourselves than the people we are labeling.
So, I do the work that ensures that I stay connected. Then I say YES to life, and because of that connection, I know that all is well and all will continue to be well and that my YESSES are supported.
Our nos are supported too, by the way, but that’s a topic for another blog post.