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November 10, 2012

how we become ourselves.


on my bus ride home the other night i listened to this and read this. over and over. the combination caused me to write a lot. a whole lot in those sixty minutes. the margins on that piece of paper got real full real quick. 

i read the essay again on my way home last night. 

if you've never read anything by anne lamott please start. 

how do we become the person we're supposed to be?

the person we're supposed to become. the person we will become. 

i take comfort in these words, that it's possible. this becoming and growing will happen. this is how life works. 

you don't think your way into becoming yourself.

i am revealing myself to myself all the time. what am i learning about who i am? a lot. and the list keeps growing. 

i'm thankful for this.

the love and good and the wild and the peace and creation that are you will reveal themselves, but it is harder when they have to catch up to you in roadrunner mode. 

i am someone who is very impatient. i am this way because i wasted so much time. i squandered time. i robbed myself of a life before i realized what a beautiful one i wanted for myself. and right now i have so many pieces of the life i imagined. but i cheated myself. it's the truth. i robbed myself of years. years. and it's a constant task/struggle to get to a place of forgiving myself for it. when i first started with jim he looked at me and said, "you're making up for lost time." (hence the roadrunner speed.) he was right. of course he was right. 

i pray that when people are gently confronted with things that hurt to hear that they'll take a moment to really hear the words. sometimes words are hard. but the ones surrounded by love are easier to accept. 

i have to force myself to stop. to take a full stop. but i'm surrounded by good people who help with this. spending time with a very calm man and a very active and happy toddler make it easy to feel joy. at constant intervals. 

i am someone who wants a lot. 
i want more.
it's within reach.
i can feel it.

i am an emotional person. thank God for that. it took me twenty-seven years to become one and i'm not about to turn it off or turn it down now. 

dealing with your rage and grief will give you life. it may not look like anger; it may look like compulsive dieting or bingeing or exercising or shopping. but you must find a path and a person to help you deal with that anger.

all of these things are rooted in deep and heavy anger and sadness, often in equal measure. and this is hard to imagine except to those who know. but dealing with things takes a long time. there are steps upon steps that consist of  "dealing with things." grief has to be organized and compartmentalized and attacked. but only when you're ready. and it's the moment when you feel your anger seeping through your bones, when you want to crawl out of your skin and scream. that is when you're ready. that's when i was ready. it may be different for you. 

anger holds us hostage. anger is poison. feeling in general is tiring, but more tiring and poisonous than that is slowly killing yourself. people do this a dozen different ways. none of them are small. 

it takes a long time to put yourself back together, much longer than it takes to completely fall apart. the falling, the dissolving, is a slow death. if you're actively killing yourself then you aren't living. if a person wants their life back, wants a life, they must make that decision with their entire heart and take the first step. and never stop. no one can do it for you. people can help, if you let them. but you must take the big steps on your own. and you must let yourself love yourself. allow yourself that feeling. 

how am i becoming myself? so far, lots of mistakes and wrong decisions and self-doubt. addiction and therapy and poisonous foods and toxic people. letting these things go. lots of crying and yelling. quiet mornings spent in my favorite chair. anne lamott and mary chapin carpenter and the writing that won't stop after spending time with these women. big bouncing happy dogs. the strongest women in my corner and a green chair in the office of a former chicago cop. running and biking and boxing early on saturday mornings. coffee and sarcasm and laughter and patience. and love. 

and finding my voice. 

to love yourself as you are is a miracle, and to seek yourself is to have found yourself, for now. and now is all we have, and love is who we are.

amen.

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