I have always been an early riser. The morning is my favorite time of day and most days, as I feel the pink light and the quiet slipping away, I wish it would stay just a little bit longer. I want to hang a little longer in the daybreak, before the rest of my world is awake, because it feels like a place where everything is possible. My dreams are alive in this sacred space and the doubts that threaten my resolve and make me feel scared are still asleep. As the day goes on, it takes more focus to keep my self talk positive, my eyes clearly set on my goals, and quiet the voice that tells me there is too much to learn and too much time passed to turn these dreams into reality. I know that sounds less than optimistic, which isn’t like me, but I have also learned that confronting what I’m afraid of, rather than burying it deep, plays a big role in me never lying in bed scared to death of being alone and believing that I need a co-author for my amazing life story.
One of the things that has gotten me through the unfortunate break up of my traditional family has been the reconnection with friends who knew me 20 years ago. It’s strange in so many ways, because I never felt the change that happened in me over the last 20 years. It occurred slowly, but friendships that were once so easy to maintain fell away. In those years, it was simple to make excuses about why…we have miles between us, kids to raise of all different ages, single friends with different lifestyles. There were a million excuses to throw out and the days always passed so quickly. At the heart of it though, I’m not one to lose contact, and over the first twenty years of my life, I had established deep and meaningful friendships that meant the world to me. In my heart, it pained me that I had lost touch, the real me detests small talk and is such a huge believer in deep connection I simply couldn’t bear the thought of losing people who I had shared those connections with, so I buried my thoughts on these matters deep. Over the last year or so, I have reached out and even visited some of these friends, and in other cases others have reached out to me (yet another reason I am a fan of social media). Although the reestablishment of friendships that mean so much is the biggest gift, there is something else that God has offered me through these experiences that has been invaluable to my healing…these friends remembered the old me even when I couldn’t. They remembered someone who wasn’t afraid of being noticed, someone that would share what she thought to a bigger group, someone who enjoyed conversation with differing points of view without being afraid that people would get upset, and, most of all, someone who was strong and unafraid to stand up for herself, without needing the backing of anyone else. In some way, each of these reconnections has offered me this message:
“You are strong enough for the story you are living, I never knew you would doubt yourself.”
Wow…this was mind blowing stuff to me. With each of these encounters, I started to remember the girl that my friends knew, and I started to speak up, to write and create. Now I know that this creation is part of my journey and entirely up to me, all I have to do is believe in it and back it up with my effort.
The amazing thing about life is that if you use the right lens and habits, and a fair amount of discipline, everything we experience can be used for progression. Real progression includes loss, failure and hardship to create life’s true beauty. Real progression is the yin and yang, the ebb and the flow and the knowledge that life is always moving and changing. I can be both a power player and a keen observer in my own life and both will sustain me. Today I know that if I had never experienced deep pain and loss, the beauty that I seek to find everyday when I’m with my kids, in the faces of people, in nature, in my health and fitness adventures, and the rest of God’s creation would not be as remarkable. This knowledge reinforces my belief that it’s ok to be scared, as long as I face my fears head on, to feel small, as long as I rise up and loom larger in my own story and to hold tight to the heart of the girl who’s name was Jones ...a name that holds a history that I am proud of and belongs to me, not in an attempt to detract from anyone else’s history making abilities, because every one of us is so capable, but to make my mark, strong and independent, and most of all embracing the joy of the present. In the now, I feel like that girl again and it’s all part of the progression.