There is a moment right before I fall asleep in which my body jerks, my muscles release and I finally cross over to the land of dreams. I used to fear that moment, try to analyze what it meant: why am I always standing on a cliff, why am I falling through the air?
For many years I’ve been holding onto that cliff, absolved in fear, white knuckles, sweaty palms. What was so scary about letting go?
As I’m getting older I’m finally beginning to understand this crazy life. It’s not an easy task, for if it were easy, why would we ever try?
My biggest fear- and I’ll be the first to admit it- is being alone.
It’s funny really because I know so many people just like me. I interact with them on a daily basis. And yet, we were born alone, we wake up alone, we drive our cars alone, we bathe alone, we eat alone, we breathe alone- we do all these great things, these things necessary to life, completely alone.
When you think of the word alone it is strange how at first it seems to have such a negative connotation, it sounds almost hollow.
The fear of being all one? Now that sounds ridiculous.
A wise lady in fabulous heels once said , ” But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you that loves you, well that’s just fabulous.”
So I’ve started my long, and challenging journey of getting to know myself. It turns out it’s not as easy as it looks. Your mind is like a fruit and you have to peel back the layers to get to the good stuff deep inside.
And through this I’ve found how tightly wound I am. How did I get myself this tied up?
My yoga instructor called it Cringe pose. That’s when your shoulders are so high they are touching your ears.
My mother calls it Profit of Doom. That’s the time I’m so anxious and filled with negativity that it’s like I’m almost wishing bad things to happen.
My father says mind over matter. He told me he doesn’t believe in signs or God leading us places, or chemicals making us feel happy- he believes in the power of mind.
And it turns out- the minds a hell of a drug.
Small doses of this real me have started to seep out.
The real me is confident, calm, independent, witty and driven. But the me you see is scared, frail, sickly, warn out and clingy.
The superficial me is addicted to the physical: shopping, beauty, reality television, sex, food.
The real me is beyond all that.
I recently found a book from a Buddhist monk who followed me round the streets of Auckland, New Zealand. It’s strange how books, things, signs come to you when you are ready to read them.
As I opened the book I started to read about how we are attached to the body. Feeding this body with physical
Pleasures will not give us fulfillment, because it is the soul that needs feeding, says the book. The body is a vessel, says the book.
Funny my father said something similar to me the other day. He said, “why do you care so much what people think about you? Do you think it makes you a better person if everyone thinks your pretty or rich or wise?”
Well played sir.
Will all the clothes in the world make me happy? Nope. Will holding onto that cliff make me strong? Nope. Will obsessing over what others think make me the better person? Not at all.
And so I’m learning to let go, to breathe, to live, to learn, to love myself. I’m finally accepting that it’s ok to fall, and even to fall alone, as long as you know your falling into yourself.