The Beams of Love.

So I can't believe I'm about to retype as much of an article as I am, but when I started reading it it spoke so very much to where I am, and where so many people I know are, that it would be a shame not to. The following bit is from O Magazine's November issue: "How to Become the Person You Were Meant to Be," by Anne Lamott:
We begin to find and become ourselves when we notice how we are already found, already truly, entirely, wildly, messily, marvelously who were were born to be. The only problem is that there is also so much other stuff, typically fixations with how people perceive us, how to get more of the things that we think will make us happy... So the real issue is how do we gently stop being who we aren't? How do we relieve ourselves of the false fronts of people-pleasing and affectations, the obsessive need for power and security, the backpack of old pain, and the psychic Spanx that keeps us smaller and contained?
Here's how I became myself: mess, failure, mistakes, disappointments, and extensive reading, limbo, indecision, setbacks, addiction, public embarrassment, and endless conversations with my best women friends...and overall, choosing as my motto William Blake's line that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love.

When I was a young writer, I was talking to an old painter one day about how he came to paint canvases. He said he never knew what the completed picture would look like, but he could usually see one quadrant. So he'd make a stab at capturing what he saw on the canvas of his mind and when it turned out not to be even remotely what he imagined, he'd paint it over with white. And each time he figured out what the painting wasn't, he would be one step closer to finding out what it was.
You have to make the mistakes to find out who you aren't. You take the action and the insight follows: You don't think your way into becoming yourself...

It would be nice for nervous types like me if things were black-and-white, and you could tell where one thing ended and the next began, but as Einstein taught us, everything in the present and the past is right here now... I pray that your awakening comes with ease and grace, and stamina when the going gets hard. 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.
I know if no one else, this article speaks to me and where I am. We decided to end Dakota Martin and there I was with no idea where to turn, what to look for or what to do. For a spell it sent me reeling. The world was at my finger tips--so which direction do I choose? Every centimeter you turn is a whole new ball of wax. I felt anxious not working, I felt scared of not knowing, and I felt jealous that so many people were sure of their passions and secure in their decisions. But you can't do much else except put one foot in front of the other. I took a job at a coffee shop for productivity's sake and began taking a writing class as my Prozac. As she says in the article, "Beloved of God and of your truest deepest self, the self that is revealed when tears wash off the makeup and grime... The self that is reflected in the love of your very best friend's eyes." And trust me -- their have been plenty of tears, and plenty of, perhaps undeserving, reflections of love. And while this is only the beginning of my journey something clicked recently, though I'm not sure when or why: it is okay. It is okay to be unsure, it is okay to explore things you love, and it is okay to be yourself and be comfortable. It is only the beginning of my journey and I have already made many mistakes, but like Anne says, those mistakes have helped teach me who I am not.

This felt relevant for many reasons. One, because it is where I am. Two, because I just found the article, but most importantly is three--being in my mid 20s I think this is relevant now more than ever, and I have had so many conversations recently about peoples struggles in this department from all different walks of life. Teachers, Lawyers, students, finance people--some restless, some content. Being in New York is times a million because (thankfully) everyone here is a dreamer. I've had lunch with dancers, artists, website start ups, supper clubs. We're all here rolling with the punches and how wonderful to have our worlds collide. I hope this article (or pieces of it) has the same calming effect on you that it did on me. It is okay, and the mistakes are meant to be there.

My apologies for such a long sappy post. But her words spoke to me. The photo above is the sun setting on Nantucket Mass, this past July 4th. I was in the most beautiful backyard in the world with some dear friends. Any shot of the sky feels inspiring to me for one reason or another, and this one especially so.

No comments:

Post a Comment