Sunday, 15 December 2013

choose love

Recently I had a dream in which I found myself suspended in the sky, balancing on a wood beam.  I was aware that others were depending on me to stay steady; if I lost control, my children would plummet to the earth alongside me.  I felt like a tightrope walker performing without a safety net, while also juggling 3 dearly loved human beings.  How had we arrived in such a precarious position?  One false move and we were finished...

It was obviously a relief when my alarm went off. I could easily have dismissed my night time adventures, as many people do, but I chose to pay attention.

For the first half of 2013 fears about my health dominated my thoughts. I've developed a rare condition that has to be monitored, but doesn't affect me in any other way. It may or may not affect my life expectancy. Sometimes I wish my doctor hadn't discovered my condition since it can't be cured. Living with uncertainty has been worse than the actual disorder. I'm committed to a healthy lifestyle, but some things are simply out of my hands.

Throughout the year fear has tightened its grip, leaving me breathless. For the first time in my life I've been consumed by worry. I worry about my children. I worry about my elderly parents. My boyfriend works 60+ hours a week, and I worry that he will burn out. I worry about both of our finances. The list goes on and on... It's exhausting!

Back to my dream. Afterwards I took some time to reflect about my increasing anxiety. I knew something had to shift. 

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” 
{ John Lennon}
Choose Love by carmelscribe

I decided to choose love. I want to be present, moment by moment, and live life to the fullest. The future is just as uncertain as ever, but I am trying to trust that all will be well. When I take one day at a time, life is less overwhelming. 

I read an article by Jack Kornfield with tips on finding lasting calm.  He suggests that we "shrink the bundle, expand like the sky." This imagery works for me. 

As a result of mindfulness practices, I'm slowly unwinding, surrendering, relaxing into what is happening, rather than wasting energy on speculation. During the coming year I intend to count my blessings. And yes, breathe.

This post is part of Reverb 13.  To learn more about this storytelling project click here.
What was the best decision you made in 2013?  What were the results?  How will you continue the good work in 2014?

{Photo credit} Choose Love, a photo by carmelscribe on Flickr

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