Getting ready to live

Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

I am thinking about the reasons I waitto live
to do the things I want to do
to do the things that define who I am

or to even define who I am!!

I feel the familiar tension in my body in answer. This is fear. I notice fear lurking, telling me, reminding me that just as soon as I get absorbed in something, it will be taken from me. I will get ‘caught’ being utterly absorbed in enjoying myself, a craft, a meal, a shower, the feel of the sun on my skin. I will be humiliated. I will be ridiculed for existing. The things I care about will be ripped from me and destroyed in front of me, to punish me for daring to love, to hope, to feel…to preposterously believe I was safe.

I think about caregivers that taught me this and I feel anger and outrage at them, and compassion for the young girl who deserved so much more. This is new for me. I used to feel numb toward the caregivers and contempt for the little girl. It feels healthy and appropriate.

I don’t want to get stuck here or waste time on anger. I want to feel the amount that is right for me, the amount that will help me put the events of my childhood into appropriate perspective, to help me feel the love and compassion and protection toward myself that I should have received from the people who responsible for giving it to me.

Now that I am an adult…there is no one to give it to me but me. And thank God I have my sisters to hold me up, to give me a safe nonjudgmental place to realize what I feel and experience something different than what I expect –

they meet my ugliness with love

my stammering voice with patience

my uncertain, stuttering gaze with solid, compassionate groundedness

my indecision with respect for my own process

my terror of humiliation with tears and – shockingly, tragically, gloriously – understanding

And I can feel my colors begin to glow…and shine…and sing.

Thank You, Lord, for my sisters, who show me You when I do not see You or trust You. What a love that is…a love no put off by fear or rejection but a love that pursues gently, that sends gloriously beautiful women into my life to show me Your love when I cannot receive You.

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1 Response to Getting ready to live

  1. There are no conditions with my love, especially when you stumble, trip or plain ole sit down on the side of your path. You show me this gratitude also, give and take.. We are not meant to walk through life alone, why not share your journey with those who love to sit in the mudd with you when things get tough?


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