Do It for Your Own Soul?
Can you feel the pull? The pull of yourself towards yourself? Is there something innate that beckons you toward something that seems out of reach or not part of your life’s plan?
Sometimes, I feel like my life isn’t mine. Like I am living it for someone else, although I can’t really tell you who that might be...it isn’t my parents, or my kids. It isn’t society at large. But sometimes, it feels like the life I am living is for someone else. Like there is some sort of external arbiter of me that pushes me onward and toward things that really don’t matter to me at all.
It is against this force or feeling (I am not sure which it is) that I struggle. Moving myself toward myself and all that feels like is me. I am not sure my life has really been about me becoming more myself, than me releasing and letting go of all that really isn’t me that I allowed myself to think was...
Maybe this is too heavy a concept for a Monday...but here I am nonetheless.
What I am finding in this down time is a desire that has been buried under all the busy activity of my mind and body that exists below the conscious level. It is this part of me that I know is really me, the watcher, the one who sees what I do and say and then quietly thinks things. She is removed from the fray of action and reaction. She just sits quietly observing it all and then adjusting course. Quietly navigating me toward and away from people, places and things.
I think she is divinity but I can’t really be sure. And often, I find that I do not like where it is I feel she is steering me. Often, in fact daily, I question her judgment and wonder what she has been smoking...feeling very off course and a bit lost, especially lately. However, I have always trusted her guidance and blindly followed her to places remote and lonely which have always turned out perfectly ok.
I have come to know her voice to be the one that God speaks to me through (no, I do not really believe that I hear the voice of God from some female voice in my head...I am not certifiable, well at least not yet) but hers the voice of soulful wanting, needing and desiring. A longing that is supported only by my own desires for myself. Not those of what polite society wants for me or my job or my role as mother. No, she talks to me of things other, and often, they scare me.
For example, I have been consumed lately by this desire to retreat to a cabin in the woods, not for a weekend or a month, but for good. To leave Ojai and all that supports me here and go to this place where I just live, eat, sleep and write. That I become somewhat reclusive. Now, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon, but I feel the pull. Not in an escapism kind of way but a soulful longing that is calling to me.
It feels crazy in that I already feel alone and isolated so why in the hell would more of that be something I need? I already have enough...and yet, it is what speaks to me when I am still and quiet and alone.
There is no danger that I take off any time soon. I have parenting and daughtering and working to occupy my life. And these are all good things. Things that I value and love and want in my life. However, my quiet soulful sister is up to something and I am somewhat afraid of what it is going to ask and require of me.
But when the time comes, I will go, I have to, I have to do it for my own soul. If I am not living this life for me, then who am I living it for? If I will not obey my own call to my own interior wild, then how can I call this my life? If I am not doing this life for me, then who am I doing it for? And I do not mean to suggest that living a life for others is necessarily a bad life or a missed step. Only that I think we sleep walk so much of our lives, living in the here and now but being wholly gone from our own presence. Drifting to and fro in and out of the lives of others all in some distanced jumble of our own life,
We only get this one precious life (to our knowledge) and even if we were to be guaranteed more than one, would it make our living of this one any less important? What, what shall we do with this one precious life? For whom shall we live it if not for ourselves? I am finding that it takes a great deal of courage to be who I am. Especially when what speaks to me and calls me onward is less and less something I can explain. I feel myself losing the power of words and explanations and just being in the moment. One that is wholly and completely occupied by me. And that feels odd in juxtaposition to the way I have always lived, so much of you inside me. But here we are, you removed and me staring myself straight in the face, a quiet loneliness that is becoming less lonely and more loving daily.
Today, I feel the solitude in a kind of envelopment. A loving embrace, a haptic touching of myself to myself, for myself. A yearning that is supportive of my own growth without apology to the others that used to surround and need other things from me. My children content with my presence but needing me less. My job ok with my remoteness given the increased productivity. My friends all distant and away, consumed with their own lives and current struggles. My parents needing the isolation to feel safe. I can see more easily that which is being removed, more than I can see what is being added, but added it is because nature abhors a vacuum...especially one of your own soul and life’s purpose.
I rest easier with the knowledge that there is an addition, a hushed adding up of days and moments where my life is filled with more of me and less of others. A silent march of the self toward itself, while being supported by the souls of others as they march on also. Heads bowed in prayerful union, walking forever toward the purpose of our lives. We trudge forward together even though the journey shall forever remain solitary. Each walking the other homeward, if only to itself.