I am Strong. I am Ready. I am ME

Shipley upperSometimes I just stand there, on the edge of a sheer cliff, afraid to fall. I look all around me, remembering everything that I fear, and it freezes me in a moment replayed in my life over and over again. I struggle to grasp at hand holds that don’t really exist, while looking all around me for the safety that was never truly mine to have.

Yes, I freeze. Yes, I panic. Yes, I thrash all about like a fucking fish caught in a net. I never seem to realize that the net is my own making, my own design, and my own failure.

Sometimes I just want to get all “giggity” with it. In those times I thumb my nose at society, causing what others call “a stirring of the pot”. I rail against the ideas of man that seem to bind him to a prison he’s chosen to live in. I lash out, pointing my finger in disdain and ideological superiority. I can’t help myself, I’ve lived so many things and felt so much in this life that I know better.

Yes, I know better. Or so I think. In the moments when society acts in disharmony I react. When ideas become more important that souls, I respond. When beliefs trump people I stand up, needing to be heard. I am the rescuer, the protector. It is who I am.

So I thrash around like a fish in a net reacting to all I see as injustice in the world, never realizing (again) that the net is of my own making, and of my own design. I battle its rusted cords, and it responds by binding me tighter to the very things I struggle against. I become those things simply by giving them my attention.

I don’t vilify myself for these sins. It is these moments when I miss the mark of joy, that I truly get to experience completeness. I realize their purpose, which is and always will be, to enhance my experience. I realize I struggle not because of what is, but because of the net I’ve created that tells me what should be. I don’t struggle because of the way others see me, I struggle because of the way I see myself in their judgment.

There is always little gaps in the joys of man. Rolling hills exist in the valleys, and the valleys exist upon the summits of our lives. Once, little gaps of consciousness filled my unconscious moments. Now, it is just the opposite, with those tiny valleys of fear providing me with the contrast I need to see the enormous summits of great promise all around me.

I don’t seek to be perfect because I realize I am already perfect. Yes, I hear you, that annoying little voice of Young Tommy singing in my ear. I know calling myself perfect is a travesty. It is narcissistic, it is egoic, and it is a painful reminder of how imperfect we are taught to be. Yes, I hear you, and I realize in my soul of Souls that you are just another voice I need to know in order to know myself, and I honor you in the passing. Enjoy the show, Young Man, you are about to be realized.

So I took a walk this morning. I wrestled with my fears and my anxiety, and the belief that I still have much to lose. I have nothing, and once I conquer the fear of losing nothing I can regain my composure enough to keep climbing. I will deal with judgments the way I deal with the voices in my life because, after all, they are nothing more than my own voice replayed to me by the walls of the canyons I now survey. Those echoes once drove me, and still do to a certain point, and perhaps now it is time to hear a different tune.

Perhaps the greatest gifts I have to give is the great love I have within me. That love won’t always show itself in the way we were taught. It won’t always smile, or gently caress, or offer words that appear to encourage. Sometimes that love shows itself in a frown, in a tear, in the sharpness of my tongue and the courage of my wit. Sometimes it looks harsh, and others it looks amazingly like something far from the paintings of love we like to pretend are truthful realities.

Sometimes love looks like an earthquake. Sometimes it looks like a volcanic eruption. Sometimes it is so destructive that we fear it, and run and hide from its non-judgmental eyes. Sometimes it sweeps us away in winds, or carries us to oblivion in floods, or burns us into ash by fire. Yet, it is love nonetheless, judged harshly as something far more sinister, created by the egos of man simply afraid of his own shadow.

So, sometimes I’ll shake you. Sometimes I will blow you away. Sometimes you will burn the bridge that binds us in the very thought of me. None of that changes the fact that I love you, even if the wind carries you far away from the space on which I sit. I may be rooted here, and the wind may carry you there, but you will always be a part of me. Where you go, a part of me goes with you, even if you see that part as something unworthy of the journey, and even if you have no recollection of the adventure we share.

My past allows me to see my present though the eyes of perspective. I get to see how much I’ve grown, how much I’ve blossomed in the past years. I now see a mighty Sequoia where a sapling once stood, and while that tree may get jostled in the wind from time-to-time, I know each breeze is but a result of my height. The weather changes near the summit, but you don’t feel it because each step prepares you for the next.

I am strong. I am ready. I am, ME.

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