I came across this Mary Oliver quote and thought about you, my CreakyJoints friends.
I want to think again of dangerous and noble things
I want to be light and frolicsome
I want to be improbably beautiful and afraid of nothing as though I had wings
I thought about the end of the year, and how often we skip over this year’s accomplishments and look to our goals and wishes for the year that is coming.
It might be that Mary Oliver’s words are read in that context – who we want to be, what we are hoping to become – a future self, a distant life.
But I want to suggest that we read these thoughts backwards – reviewing and savoring the times this year when you have thought dangerous, rebellious thoughts and refused to see your life as others tell you it should be.
Where this year were you able to see and celebrate a larger horizon? When did you say no, or yes, especially when it was not prudent?
When you live with chronic illness, it can seem safer to live tightly between well-established lines. But the moments of living on your own terms can offer a taste of your authentic self, wild and a little dangerous.
Ah, the improbable self. Light and frolicsome. Can you recall any of those times? When you danced in your heart, or maybe a little in your body? When you knew that Life was a gift to be enjoyed? When what was improbable became real – a magical mystery showing up just for you?
We so rarely savor what makes us happy. The brain is hardwired to focus on problems: difficulties to deal with and solve. We skew towards trouble – both real and imagined, and keep our nervous systems primed for the other shoe to drop.
Savoring our moments of improbable joy, delight in the body and mind and soul, gives us a sense of life worth living. We pause, breathe in, and then out. We locate ourselves in this moment – and realize we can be afraid of nothing.
When were you unafraid this year? Giving up fear – the constant companion of pain and suffering, allows room to live. It is a spiritual and emotional exercise to let the fear go. I know you have done this more than a few times in 2014. You have lived in a larger space, dreamed a dream, taken an action that said I am more than my disease. I am so much more.
You have spoken out, taken a trip or a hike, you have held your child, done work you love, done things everyone told you weren’t sensible – or possible. Some of you have climbed mountains – real ones! And all of you have made many metaphoric climbs.
Every one of those actions count. They re-make you –and they re-make our world. They give you wings.
I wish for all of you a New Year even more fearless than the one past. I wish for you improbable moments and improbable days – and most of all, may you feel beautiful and live as though you have wings.