Today, nine and a bit years after attending my first ever 12 step recovery meeting, it is the same fundamental issue that I meet on if not a daily, then at least a weekly basis. I am continually presented with notable moments in which a different choice is needed if I am to be at peace. These moments are usually intense, supercharged with ancient emotional baggage, and it matters little whether I'm in the northern or southern hemisphere, whether I'm single or engaged, whether I'm fat or thin - I've still got the same ranting, lunatic ego mind. (!)
Over dinner with friends a few nights ago, I learned that there are people who go into a period of silent retreat for three years. Three years?! "Bloody Nora", as Nige would say ('tis a northern saying, so I'm told). I have often wondered whether a complete and total
I think it was sometime in the process of Nige's Experiment in Conscious Dying that an acceptance dawned on me that the quality of a life well lived is not how many countries you've seen, or how many dreams you've realized, but simply how present you have been to the everyday moments, the seemingly inconsequential acts of ordinariness: a smile offered to a stranger; a hello to a passerby; really listening to your partner, your friend, your colleague; a risk taken; a pause taken as I sit on the train home to just breathe a full lung's worth of oxygen into my body; a commitment made to pray and connect.
Exploring Elloaness has tonight brought me to this moment - a moment of gratitude and, yes, happiness! I am truly, truly blessed to be me, because for some unknown reason, I've been given the gift of awareness, and with awareness comes choice. And with choice comes freedom - the one thing I always wanted, having not known very much about freedom when I was a child and a young woman.
So I will continue to explore, unravelling the layers of unforgiveness, until all I am left with is the pure, the innocent and the beautiful - in other words, until I remember that "only the love is real in any situation." (A Course in Miracles)
I expect I'll make a few blunders along the way, sing a few bum notes, tread clumsily here and there - perfectly imperfect - but if you care to walk a while with me, I would love to share some of this crazy, wonderful journey called life with you.