Sunday, June 12, 2011

Two for the price of one

Traveling and with limited computer access this weekend I have not set aside time to respond to the #Trust30 challenges from Lachlan Cotter and Ash Ambirge on fear and surprise. One asks is do not doing the thing I fear worth sacrificing what I want and the other questions how I surprised myself in the past by doing something I couldn't and how will I surprise myself now.

If there is a strong wish in me it is to know the truth and to be honest with myself and others. I believe writing helps me pursue this, especially as the words that come out prove to different than what I imagined or what is revolving in my mind, the endless chatter of fantasy. For I have found it so easy to deceive myself, thinking I am honest, when I have left something undone, not paid someone I owed, not acknowledged someone who did me a courtesy, and I go about thinking I am conducting myself well.

However, I surprised myself once when making a driving mistake, getting in the way of another driver who honked at me furiously. We ended up side by side on the street and I rolled down my window and he rolled down his and we looked at each other for an instant. At another time I might have been frightened and avoided him. However, I looked into the man's eyes and said to him "I'm sorry." He curtly nodded. The light changed and we drove off and I will probably never see him again. For once, I took responsibility and did not act out of fear. Can I do so again and not once but every day? I admit I know too little.

What right now teaches me is to accept who I am and see how I can change for the better and become more honest and responsible to myself and others. Part of that is owning my own story. I look back on mistakes and accept this is the kind of person I was and did the best I could with what I had. I looked on others' successes and saw only my own failures. I can get beyond that now. So much is helping me. I learn from Victoria's post on experience not being wasted, necessary to bring one to where one is. Or as Brene Brown writes in The Gifts of Imperfection, which I have finally begun reading, "Owning our own story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it." I am similarly inspired by Marjory's story about connecting with her soulmates and living the story of their bodies together. She and Julie wrote the words describing their bodily experience on each other (love the smiles and laughter in the pictures.) "We wrote our precious word messengers on each others chests to let them sink into our hearts." Further on Marjory writes "Your body needs to know that you will hold its story with tenderness." Or it is captured for me in this sign, courtesy of insightful and courageous Carolyn.

So I continue to pursue honesty, aiming to be like the monk who says to his disciple "I am close to not being deceived about myself." "But master, how can that be?" asks the disciple. The master replies, "Talking is easy. Being is not."

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