There was a time in my life that i was very focused on love. Not romantic love, although there was some of that back then too, but what I thought of as “agape love .” A more spiritual version of love, love that is unconditional. God-like, perhaps.
My guiding principal was to do everything i did with love. That absolutely didn’t mean being weak or letting people treat me any way they felt like, I had too many things in my life that required toughness and hard decisions. Too many people with conflicting needs to balance.
It was literally a question i asked myself throughout the day, “How do i do this with love?” Which is not to say i always succeeded, or even ever succeeded really, but the effort created a warmth within me that felt like it made life worth living.
Pema Chodron says:
“When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it’s bottomless, that it doesn’t have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.”
― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
I don’t feel that in the same way, and i’m not sure what’s changed.
Life is still worth living – absolutely! That’s not what i’m saying at all. But it’s different. i think i was more invested in living in the moment then, maybe? i don’t know. But i am different now.
Pema also says:
“We have a choice. We can spend our whole life suffering because we can’t relax with how things really are, or we can relax and embrace the open-endedness of the human situation, which is fresh, unfixated, unbiased.”
― Pema Chödrön, Living Beautifully: with Uncertainty and Change
When i wonder if i need to recapture how i was then, i remind myself that how i am is not “wrong,” it’s different. If i miss how it was then, ok. That’s fine. But i think it is more about being where i am and staying in tune with where i’m going. There’s no need to label things – not better or worse, not worthy or unworthy.
On a much more mundane note, i am going to start limiting how late in the evening i eat. Realistically, i think i can do a 6:30 cutoff, 7:00 if there are extraneous factors. It worked last night to limit my hours long “dinner,” and that would be helpful. And i’m going to start including my step count in my check-in – even if it’s pretty pathetic. Just paying attention to it is one thing I can do to see if it changes.
And i would like to slow down. i made some mistakes at work last week – not major mistakes, minor things that just made me look careless. One of them inconvenienced others, which was not my goal. They were little things that happened because i got to the end of something i was working and thought i was “finished” just a couple of minutes too quickly. Clicked “send”or logged out without checking to make sure the work was really complete.
i’m not beating myself up for that, it really was all minor. But i’m taking it as an opportunity to make a small change. To make sure a document is stored where other people can get to it, that a draft email is finalized without dangling bits and pieces before it goes out. AND to do it without moving back into anxious perfectionism! That’s the real challenge.
i feel like, maybe, i am on the verge of something. You know? Like i am growing in ways that i don’t recognize, because they’re new. Working on relaxing and embracing the open-endedness of it. Feeling open and curious.