As I walked the woods this morning, a thrice-daily practice with the little pup, I searched my heart to identify what this feeling was that I was experiencing.
It’s not unknown to me, certainly. I have had tastes of it throughout my life: moments in Nature, with my kids and my friends, with my horses and my dogs. But a state of contentment that settles in for the long haul? That’s a new one on me.
I am a big believer in the wisdom of longings, of cravings, of desires. Not that they are literal, always, but that they illuminate our path, our own personal Moonlight. Craving chocolate for instance, may be a need for magnesium, or a longing for more sweetness in life. And I’m a big fan of chocolate, as any casual observer of my blog can tell. But I don’t eat much any more. It just doesn’t come up the way it used to.
There are longings I have had for as long as I can remember: the longing to heal my own childhood by being a good mother; the desire to have a large impact with my ideas, and be of service to others; the yearning for a love where I can truly drop anchor, be welcomed as my fully weird self, and adore with all the love in my heart; the imperative to alchemically transform the difficulties I have experienced in my life and use them to lessen someone else’s.
So what happens when all those boxes are checked off?
I’m finding out. I don’t feel driven any more. It’s disconcerting, to say the least, after 6 decades of working so hard towards something all the time. And don’t get me wrong. I still want to be a better person: a better healer, a better mother, friend, and partner. I want to be a better writer, with a larger audience. So I still have dreams and hopes and I have some ideas about how those might take place.
What I don’t have any more is the punishing drive that sourced from a feeling of inadequacy, of not ever being good enough in whatever I did.
I’m also old enough to know that many, if not most, things we yearn for manifest, when they do, in ways and in forms we couldn’t possibly predict.
Like this love of mine. Love found me this year. I certainly didn’t find it. I would have looked right past it, thinking I knew better because it (he) didn’t meet the criteria I’d developed from a lifetime of failed relationships.
But that’s it exactly. How can you know what you don’t know? It’s a delusion that keeps us turning the hamster wheel, unhappy, restless and no closer to any particular “goal” than we were when we started.
Oh, trust me, I still get on the hamster wheel, and have times when I wrestle with my angels once again. I assume I always will.
What’s different is that now I come home. I drop anchor. I settle in rather than reaching out.
No doubt I will continue to have moments when I believe the illusion that there’s something terribly wrong and I need to fix it, usually as urgently and as dramatically as possible. And it will take me a long moment or two to remember that it is me, and I don’t need fixing. That everything I need is already here.