Today is a really good day. Some time ago I realized it was time to let go. It was around the time that I first began to study Buddhism. I began to let go of the illusions, see life as it really was, accept my pain and current disability and all the anger that went along with it. I began to feel FREE. At that time, I didn't think I could let go any more but today I proved myself wrong. Today I am letting go completely.
I am writing this to to carve into stone in a sense for as things change, I may lose my way again and need reminded. I am also writing this to tell my friends who follow me here so that when you see changes in me or notice that I speak differently about this injury or my current life, you do not think I'm giving up. I am not giving up on life, quite the opposite really. I am fully embracing it for the first time in years. Not just a superficial level, but on a deeper level and with complete awareness. It is wonderful!
What I am letting go of is this race I seem to have been on. I am stopping. I am not rushing ahead or even gazing ahead with expectation toward some elusive and imaginary finish line. There is nothing for me to complete, no one to fix. I am letting go of the illusion that I have any control over this injury or my life. That is simply not reality.
All I can do, need to do, is stop... let go. And most importantly, be happy and grateful for today. I realize that my sole purpose today is NOT to get well or to regain my former life. My purpose (and everyone's purpose) is to be happy. And I can only be happy if I let go.
I think due to habits and our society, I have viewed this time in my life as a fight. And everyone around me has been rallying to my side, like my own personal cheering section. The love and encouragement I have felt throughout this recovery process has been immense, and it is partly what helped me get this far. For that, I thank you!! Perhaps early on, I needed to fight. I am not sure. But I do know that today, fighting is the last thing I should be doing. Only time and rest will heal my wounds.
This is not time to fight. It is time to stop and breathe. The back and hip injury I experienced in August 2012 is simply cause and effect. It is nature. From the moment we are born, we begin to die. And nothing stays the same. We are always changing and aging. We feel pain and we feel joy. But as someone once said, pain is inevitable, but suffering is not. Oh my gosh... I have been suffering for far too long. And I thought I had all the pieces to the puzzle a few months ago. I realized today that a big piece was missing. That piece is how I speak and think about my current life. I was DOING all the right things. But still inside and with everyone I interacted with, I was looking ahead, wanting to fix myself, forgetting that in the meantime I am wasting TODAY. In Buddhism, how we behave is important. But just as important, in fact, in some ways MORE important, is our intention. It is at the basis of how we think, speak and act.
From this day forward, I hope to let go in more than my actions, but in my thoughts and in my conversations. This will be new to many of you. So please know it comes from a good place. A place of self-nurturing, where I need to be now. And help me let go. Help me just be here now.
I will continue to make wise choices for my health. I will continue to stay active, meditate, eat healthy foods, sleep... And my body will heal in it's own time. Meanwhile, the big change will be how I perceive my life now and how I speak of it with my loved ones. I do not want anything more than I have at this moment. I have been given a precious allotment of time while my body heals. And with it, I am enjoying a path of discovery.
Too often over the past year and a half, I have heard the question, "Are you writing?" I have also asked myself the question, "when will I write again?" And today, honestly, I am no longer interested in the answer. Honestly. I may never write a single story again. That is the reality. And I'm able to accept it without regret. I also make no excuses. I have tried and it has been an uphill battle, only causing me more pain and more disability. I may write again in a year or two. But for the near future, it is not likely.
What I have been given is precious and wonderful. Time. Wisdom. Enlightenment. I am happy. I am whole.
How could I ask any more of this moment? And even if I could ask for more, it would be pointless. I believe that this time can be useful. It is a time for me to meditate and develop wisdom and listen. Listen not only to my own heart and soul but to the world around me and realize how connected we all are. I know this yet I am still really beginning to feel it.
Something else occurred to me today. Perhaps this is not a time for me to write. Perhaps this is not time for me to engage at all, especially with the daily or hourly fervor that I once did, constantly writing or speaking every thought, every dream. No. I believe this is my time to stop and listen and just BE. And with this time I can grow wisdom and eventually, I hope, give back to the world. It may be with my writing or it may be via some other vehicle. I am excited about the prospect of doing that, giving, helping, nurturing someone else.
So, my friends... I have not given up. I intend to enjoy this time in my life to the fullest, and to not spend another moment regretting or wishing for more or different.
All I ask of you is that when you see me, try not to see something that is broken and needs to be fixed. I know some of you may want to offer suggestions as to how I can be repaired. But I assure you I am full, complete and perfect just the way I am today. I am in the place I need to be, living the life I need to live in this moment. I want to speak of other things. Please talk to me of flowers, of cats, of love, of courage, of freedom, of the environment, of music, of art!
For the moment, I cannot sit and I cannot drive. This continued injury and pain still limits me in my ability to spend real time with you all. But I can be with you in other ways (phone, email, video chats, letters)... We are truly blessed with so many ways to connect with our loved ones. And these ways have to be enough for now. I know we will be together again someday when the time is right.
In the meantime, know that I am very happy and well and wish the same for all of you.