Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April Moon 15, Day 2

The prompt: Knowing what I know now, I would tell my ten-years-ago self:

Ten years ago I was 57. It was 2005, and we were full-on into our real estate career, busy, active, working hard.

My mother was slipping bit by bit, too many miles away from me. I was on the Arts Council and very busy with that volunteer work. We were about to launch a new photo club which would meet with nine people in our great room on that first meeting, and which, ten years later, has morphed into something a bit different than our original ideas, but is still going strong.

I'd come a long way, however, and really was well-launched on a good path for me. But there are a few things.....

Today I would tell that person who was me then to let it go. The people-pleasing. The fear. The resentment. The anger. The only thing all of that angst will change is ME, and not necessarily for the better. It will not change the people, places, or things at which the fear and anger are directed.

I would gift myself with Mary Oliver's miracle-working poem "The Journey" and memorize it. And I'd read more Mary Oliver poems.

I would remind myself that the most important thing about life are friends and family -- and honestly, I was already very aware of that in 2005, but still too trusting, too ready to accept people as honest and true. People are often not what they seem to be, even dear, close, loved ones. That is a bitter, bitter pill to swallow and process. Lack of trust, deception, lies, and fear are devastating.

I would pull that back in myself, me who had always given too much and carried too many others along, trying to fix it all for them. I wish I had known -- and understood -- then:
You strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do,
determined to save
the only life you could save.
From "The Journey", in Dream Work (1986)

I would give myself permission to have more fun, to be more spontaneous (something I still don't do enough of), to enjoy things.

I would be grateful for each day for my health, although I was already working to keep it good.

I would remind myself that I am strong and capable and that I can weather some terrible disappointments and griefs, and still be loving and kind.

And I would tell myself to be kinder: to myself, to my family and friends, to clerks, to telephone callers, to random people I see on the street. Judgement serves little purpose: kindness does.

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