What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us, so said Ralph Waldo Emerson. I would not consider my past a tiny matter. Nay, my past is the biggest part of me, for the future is uncertain and unguaranteed. I have no promise for more. But, I realized that I have discounted what lies within me. Indeed, I have disregarded and discredited that portion of myself, choosing to exist only in that section that interacts with others. My sense of self would be dependent upon the reflection and interaction with the exterior. If you invest more and more into the exterior and the appearance, the interior withers and starves.
Starvation is a cruel form of death, especially if self-inflicted. And when there is a limited amount of sustenance it feels exceedingly selfish to feed yourself. But, the flight attendant’s voice plays in my head, “In the event there is a loss of pressure, adults should FIRST place their own oxygen masks on before assisting children.”
What lies within me? Of what am I capable? If I do not like something about myself, am I brave enough to change? Can I be better? Can I learn new things? Can I be more flexible (literally and figuratively)? Can I stop hold my breath? Can I recognize fear? Can I accept responsibility? Can I lead? Can I follow? Can I know when I am called or when I am asked to wait? Shall I claim my life, my self? Shall I recognize my purpose?
My greatest purpose, above all others is to be a mother. I do not see my children as possessions but rather as glorious gifts. I am to be strong enough to allow them to find what lies within themselves. I want them to learn to walk bravely into their worlds, claim their identities and forge ahead with reverence. To teach this, I must know this. See one, do one, teach one.
So, I have my oxygen mask on. I am breathing. We are not going to crash and die…although a rocky, crash landing is likely. I believe we will all survive and walk away. We won’t be perfect, but we will be alive. And we will acknowledge that it is only this MOMENT we are promised. I love the past, but I cannot live in that realm (not without some kind of rift in the time space continuum). I am facing the future with a mixture of apprehension and excitement. I am going to be brave and humble and start with baby steps.