Today was magical. A dear friend of mine convinced me to put down my book for a couple hours & take in a show with him. After a particularly frustrating day, & in my ongoing attempt to shake at least a little bit of my anti social tendencies, I threw on a dress & heels & headed out the door to meet him in Union Square. (At that point in time, not realizing that he was staying only two blocks from my apartment.) Somehow, while still running my typical ten minutes late, I managed to beat him downtown & took it as an opportunity to sit at the one empty picnic table in the park & enjoy the last few rays of sunshine on a particularly balmy New York afternoon. There were throngs of people coming and going in every direction set to the soundtrack of a saxophone being played somewhere on the other side of the park. I must say, all was right in the world. Eventually an older man joined me, inquiring about my tattoo & then my book, two subjects that delight me to no end. As the time came for me to meet my friend at the theater, in the midst of our goodbyes, he told me that I was radiant.
"& the choices that you make, between hating & forgiving, can become the story of your life."
pg. 3. Shantaram -Gregory David Roberts
(reading it right now & completely obsessed)
The one thing we always, always carry with us; in in our suitcases across the country, in our favorite handbags & briefcases to work day after day, our dance bags, gym bags, clutches, reusable shopping bags & even in our back pockets in our worst, most vulnerable, selfish moments, is our freedom. The freedom to love, hate, forgive, forget, let go, to leave, stay, fix, or break. At our richest, poorest, happiest, saddest, most furious times in our lives. Free will is one of the few things that connects each & every person on this planet; it's what we choose to do with it that separates us.
It's the reason we, despite our best efforts, have little to no control over our surroundings encompassing others. There is absolutely no way to control another creature of free will. We're all at the mercy of the entire universe, full of millions of billions of currents of free will, each one with it's own set of intents, hopes, fears, dreams, wants, ect. As much as I use mine to love, someone else is free to hate. Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian. (Shari R. Barr) I couldn't possibly imagine something more true. Expect nothing from the universe & be grateful for the good you find in the world every day. Fact: Life is unpredictable. What can you do? You can wear your self pity like a shroud & close yourself off to the world, or you can be free to wake up tomorrow with fresh eyes, a fresh mind & a fresh heart, even when you have to fight for it. Be free to forgive & to love because you do have a choice, & it does become your life story.
I don't need anyone to rectify my existence. The most profound relationship we will ever have is the one with ourselves.
"Acknowledgement is a no-kidding, unvarnished, bottom-line, truthful confrontation with yourself about what you are doing or not doing, or what you are putting up with in your life that is destructive. It's not some pious, phoney-baloney, half-hearted rendition of what you think they want to hear. Nor is it a watered-down, politically correct 'confession' that you think will buy you closure at the expense of truth. I mean brutal reality: slapping yourself in the face and admitting what you are doing to screw up your life. This also means admitting that you are getting payoffs for what you're doing, however sick or subtle those payoffs are."
-- Philip C. McGraw (from "Life Strategies")
What have you been feeding your soul lately?