Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Lasting Things

I'm becoming aware of what it is that I want for myself, little by little through this difficult time I'm walking through, and I think it is peace that I've been searching for. When you find true peace in any area you recognize it instantly, and there is no substitute for it. It's either real or it's useless. You can't manufacture it, or hope it into being, and I know because I've tried and failed on both counts.

You find it by letting go. There is no formula for surrender; you either hang on or you let go, but I'm finding that it's a challenging process. I can't begin to understand how I'll let go of a feeling or a resentment or a loss until I've worked my way through it, and this process can be short or it can be long and winding, with many detours and rabbit holes to tumble down into. Nothing good in this life is easy. If it hurts, and you are aware of why it hurts, you are probably getting somewhere good, if you'll just hang on and endure the pain a little bit longer.

I wish it was all easier, but you don't learn what you need to grow in the easy times. That's what the hard times are for. It doesn't help us to turn away before the work is done. As Christopher Nolan wrote in the Inception screenplay, "Downward is the only way forward." It's always darkest before the dawn, and all of that. When you most want to quit is when you must keep walking, whistling in the dark to keep the terror at bay. What you will learn will be worth it in the end, or so I keep telling myself when there is no light at the edge of the horizon. I believe it to be there, even if I can't see it, and that has to be enough for now.

Everyone has been complaining about the bitter cold and the snow, but for me it's been a lifeline. It's allowed me to hibernate, within myself as well as within my physical home, and do some of this necessary work. No one else can see it and no one needs to. It's getting done, inch by inch, and teardrop by teardrop, and eventually the sun will rise.

I want to find peace, inside and outside of myself, no matter how high the price tag is. I'm willing to pay whatever it costs to get there, and discover the kind of peace that won't be lost to me as easily as what I've owned up to this point. I want it to be connected to something real, and true, and found inside of who I am.

No one can take anything from us except for what we willingly offer, and I want to own myself now, and attach the peace and love I'm searching for to something solid so it won't desert me when I need it most. The lasting things are the true character qualities which we can touch and hold and possess for ourselves, and they are hard to achieve. But when you've glimpsed them, there is no question of going back to what got you through before, not when the genuine qualities are so valuable and can be yours for a lifetime.

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