19 February 2016
It may be when we no longer know what to do, that we have come to our real work, that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. ~ Wendell Berry
Rest. Kindness. Freedom.
When I feel battered by life, misunderstood when it matters, or trapped by obligations, these simple actions wait, patiently available and accessible, if I am willing to turn my attention to them.
Rest and kindness are familiar, daily actions, but applying conscious intent to them injects them with a power boost. Inhaling a deep, fully aware breath supplies restoration on a cellular level. A sincere, mindful expression of appreciation can open hearts. Each day presents infinite opportunities for rest and kindness.
Freedom, however, seemed like the odd man out to me, the one that does not fit with the others. It felt complicated and even confusing. Before figuring out how to act in a way that is free, there’s trying to define it and then somehow lay it in place within the structure and obligations of life.
But the word itself began to insinuate itself in me, tendril around my brain and whisper to me. It didn’t wind up caring about definitions or boundaries. It found its own way of becoming more familiar to me. As I leaned into it, I began to see how it filled in gaps. I began to realize that these three steps are like a musical trio, each instrument rounding out the effect of the whole by adding its own unique voice.
Freedom. What is that? Each time I asked, a different answer arose.
It’s noticing my thoughts traveling a well-rutted road and untethering my mind to let it wonder into a new landscape.
It’s being honest with myself or another about something I’ve skirted because it was scary or uncertain.
It’s being willing to ask questions that I have no answers for yet.
It’s trusting that I am not alone, and also trusting that it is within myself where I will find my own peace.
It’s accepting that mystery exists, that things we can neither understand nor change persist. Yet, we are enough.
Landslide has always been a poignant song about questions and change to me. The Dixie Chicks blend their voices into it here.