red belly

Today, I realized something. The way that I stress so much about my failings and shortcomings when I am here, the ways that I can’t be enough, the ways that I can’t measure up, keep my commitments (there are too many), nurture my relationships (there are too many), be attentive enough, set boundaries, be available.  All of these ways that I stress , all of these wasy that I feel torn to pieces ,scattered when I am here. Even the ways that I feel guilt and stress about leaving. All of it ! is gone when I am there.

When I am there, I am there. When I am here, I am scattered into a million pieces. When I am there, there is only one thing. One community. One meal. One responsibility. Oneness. I do not feel guilty when I am there about not being somewhere else, about not being enough or doing enough, about saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’, because I have no ability to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There I am free to be me.

What feels torn asunder from me here, returns to me there, is knitted back into the fabric of wholeness and presence. I wonder if it is possible to bring that single focused presence home, to not feels this war within me raging.

I wonder why it has gotten worse in me again? How to stop feeling guilty ALL OF THE TIME! Is the guilt perhaps speaking some truth? Or is the true answer distance? OR would this monster catch up with me there?

I wonder why surrendering, or the thought of surrendering, makes me feel dead inside, imagining a lifetime of giving up and giving in.

I have climbed out of my bedroom window onto the porch roof, where I can be outside with a view of the sky. Even up here it is visible only because of these leafless spring trees, 100 ft tall trunks not branching out until far above the roofline of the houses here.

The red-bellied called me out here. He has been visiting the tree outside my window for weeks now. I finally heeded his call. Two round drilled holes are here in the fork of this towering oak. Several times, I have observed him looking into one of those inviting openings, circling the trunk, then coming back to it once again…as do I with this pondering home.  I wonder if he will go inside, if she will say yes, if they will make themselves at home, nurture some eggs into life. Perhaps she will lay three.

Three things I hope to nurture in my life, the exercise asks of me. I list connection and passion with my husband, connection and passion (adventure and joy) with the earth, and a sense of freedom- freedom from guilt.

When these things are attained how will my life look/feel?

I believe I will move freely and with excitement, wonder and joy. I believe I will feel less anxiety, less overwhelmed, less ‘not-enoughness’ about myself, less censure and judgment, less fear of rejection, less loneliness. Yes, I am noticing all of the ‘lesses’.  I suppose I must let go of those lesser feelings in order to make space for others to grow. I suspect these 2 practices go hand in hand – the “letting go” which I hit upon so tearfully yesterday and picking up hope.

To put my image of hope into a positive frame (rather than that list of erasing this and that) I hope to feel free AND connected.

As I write, I wonder about sharing these ramblings on my blog and if perhaps I should stop doing so for now. Oh, I have such mixed feelings about it. I do believe my blog helps a few people and connects me to them, perhaps even intimately so, as this honest sharing of myself and my journey connects to something deep in their own stories.  And as I write this, I realize that this place also helps me to maintain some sense of  my true self, where I don’t have to hide or be afraid to be who I am. Here I can speak my truth (warts and all) and remember who I am (beauty and all). Inside this place I can be authentic without fear. That feels different than most other places in my life, for there is a freedom here that I do not experience in my day to day relationships.

I feel free here, but am I connected? Perhaps I am idealistic, but I believe that home should be the kind of place where you find both. Freedom, perhaps, to be loved as you are. This begs me to wonder where home truly is for me. Turtle reminds me to carry my home with me… from there back to here.

The red-bellied calls again, calling me out of my reverie, circling around to peer into that hole once again. Perhaps he too has decided that he has found a safe place within to lay a few eggs.



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