People often (accurately) comment on the abundance of my life: Where I live, how I live, my work, my extensive travels and freedoms, my dynamic relationships. This questioning never offends me, though I usually wish I had more concrete advice or words of wisdom on how in the world I have managed these feats thus far. But the curiosity never offends me, and I think the essence of these choices and the effort I have put into cultivating each of them boils down to this: I do not wish to wait for the next lifetime. While I am still here, breathing in and breathing out, I am going to embrace...fully live...in this one.
This time spent most recently coming to terms with my limitations and challenges has required a faith that is strong; in my instincts, in my closest friends and family, in my spirit and my values. In God and the Universe, too.
I have come to accept that this (for lack of a better word) ailment is actually an assignment to go deeper into myself -- not to hide in shame or disguise my truths, but to unpack everything for the sake of healing...truly healing...body, mind, and soul. This might sound absolutely nuts to many of you, but this anxiety, this depression, has quite possibly been my greatest teacher and my toughest, yet most effective, guide. It has allowed me to get very close to things that are intensely real. Uncomfortable things at times, yes. But real things. It has allowed me to delicately hold my own being in the palm of my hands, turning it over with curious observation instead of fearful judgement. It is difficult to resent it, then, when I bear witness to the unexpected potential for joy, connection, and peace it offers. I have not felt so deeply centered, patient, or hopeful in...honestly? I don’t even know how long.
I have lived these past few months by this prayer:
“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days…Lightly, lightly—it’s the best advice ever given me. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling."
- Aldous Huxley
My friends, love does not shrink when we become our whole selves: It expands. There is so much evidence for this, but sometimes it must be uncovered. We must be willing to do the work of unpacking this evidence if we wish to experience expansion beyond even our most generous expectations. We are brave enough to do this work that is most worth doing. *You* are worthy of this work.
Without a trace of intentional morbidity, I say this: Death is the ultimate destination, and until that day I simply cannot be convinced it is necessary to fear any part of my humanity — my tears, my laugh, my pain, my joy. All of this — the package deal of humanness — is my greatest offering to those I love and to the world in general. The same is true for you, too.
Lightly, my darlings. Lightly.