I can say very honestly that there has never been anyone more in the way of my own progress than me. Again. Still.
I have sandbagged, curtailed, derailed, confused, obfuscated, interrupted, vilified, and likely entrapped myself a great deal in this life.
See I was born knowing things...and I had a way. My way. Which gave little, if any, regard for you and your way. In many cases, I fought you hard and long to get my way over your way. Or just as easily, I just walked away from you, leaving you and your way to fend for yourself.
And it is this knowing of things that led to the wanting of things which led me to being in my own way. I have not ever, well until recently, even thought about letting life just happen and stop all my liking or disliking of things. It never occurred to me that there was another way. I was just born with all these ways and thoughts and feelings and they drove everything I did, everywhere I went, who I went with and for how long.
Life appeared to me like it was a series of decisions that I had to make. It really never occurred to me that a better use of my life and the experiences of it were to simply experience them as they came. NEVER EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT IT!
But as I age, and my life progresses I am able to release a little...and it is likely very little, but it is a release.
The other day, as I was heading to the airport at zero dark thirty, I was a little anxious. My ride and I disagreed about the timing. I wanted to leave at 5 and she wanted to leave at 5:30. Since I felt badly about making her get up early on a Sunday, I acquiesced. And as it turns out, we left on an unplanned middle ground, 5:15.
I am one of those people who wants to be at the airport two hours in advance. Because the anxiety of being late makes me CRAZY! And so to spare us all that unflinching, anxious, uptight version of myself that no one likes, myself included. I endeavor to always be early and then I can relax.
So this morning we left later than I wanted but sooner than was planned...and those 15 minutes saved the day.
It was raining. And while traffic wasn’t bad on the freeways of DC at 5:15 am on a Sunday, it was dark and it was raining at quite a clip. Which was why we didn’t see the giant pothole in the road. Which is also why we hit it going 65 miles an hour. We knew immediately that things were fucked. But the little light didn’t come on regarding the tire pressure until like ten minutes later...and then we knew we were never going to make the airport.
We both sat there quietly for awhile. Both of us lost in our own thoughts...her, I am sure about her car then my flight, me about my flight and then her car.
Of course we were not at any place that granted easy passage off the freeway. But we did finally make it off the freeway and to someplace safe. She called AAA, I called an Uber. The Uber was there much more quickly than AAA fortunately for me, not so much for my friend. So I left her with a flat, in the rain while I attempted to compel the Uber driver to break the speed/sound barrier. He would not as it happened.
I prayed in the back of that Uber. I prayed that my friend was ok, her car was ok and that AAA would really not take 3 hours to get there. Then I prayed for myself that I would not have to wait in long lines to check my bags, or get through security. And as always, prayer works.
We arrived in time for me to sail through bag check and TSA. And I made it to my gate with time to spare. And I thanked the travel Gods and a few others. Because I had gotten my way. I really wanted to make it home Sunday. Like really, really, really wanted.
But as I mentioned above, my way has habitually and routinely caused me so much strife. So as I sat there in the back of the Uber after I nicely requested from the universe what I wanted and needed, I surrendered. I decided that I would just relax. I would take some deep breaths and trust that if I was going to make my flights today, then I would. And if I was not supposed to, then I wouldn’t.
Now I would love to tell you that I calmed right the fuck down and was a beacon of holy serenity there in the backseat of that Uber. But I wasn’t. I still felt panicky and worried and nervous and out of control. But it helped. And I did relax my death grip on life and my way and I like to think that I got out of my own way and was able to just accept the life I was having and how it was unfolding. But I would be lying if I didn’t own that I still has a way. And I was able to relax to the degree I did because everything fell my way.
Once upon a time I was traveling on Valentine’s Day. A day I hate, because I am usually flying that particular day solo, no matter the year...and this year was no different. But I decided that day when I got up that I was just going to love whomever God put in my path that day. And so I traveled home, loving the strangers. And I had a great day that was full of life unfolding, without me limiting and frustrating life's purpose all day.
It has become a morning prayer for me, to get our of my own way. To hop into the flow of life and to see what I can add to it instead of demanding that everything occur on my scheduled and time table. I don't always hit the mark, but I do more often than I used to and for me, it must always be progress not perfection.
First, I have to own that I have a way and that way is no more "right" or "just" than anyone else's way. Then I have to do the hard work of staying in touch with myself and God and Divine order. Which I will tell you, is no easy fucking feat. Only then is my life open to what God might have it be, instead of my feable attempts to create something that usually only makes me miserable.
I start each day saying the following: "Please let me get out of my own way so that I may have a new experience of living this life. Show me other ways that are just as good, if not better than mine...and allow me to be open to the unfolding experience of my life..."
And so begins Tuesday, me, acknowledging that I have this way, but it isn't the only way. And my best days are the days when I attempt to align my will with universal will, instead of attempting to bend the universe to my own.