sister wedding hugs
This weekend I had the extreme honor and pleasure of officiating my cousin's (I've got 25 of them, total!) wedding ceremony back home in New Jersey. After getting ordained online (ahh, the beauty of the internet) I was all set in my Reverend-ship to stand in front of 205 guests, joining my darling girl in the union of marriage to her wonderful fiance.
To say I was nervous in the minutes leading up to the ceremony would be a bit of an understatement...as I joked to B, I had more cotton in my mouth than after my wisdom tooth extraction surgery.
But I managed to keep my cool and read the words I'd worked so hard to write in the months leading up to the wedding, and I am thrilled to know how much my beautiful cousin and her awesome husband loved and appreciated my "sermon".
The wedding guests were all so lovely to me afterward--kind, complimentary, encouraging. My spirit felt huge for the rest of the night (in fact, I'm still ridin' the good-vibes waves as I type this) and I was able to freely dance my little heart out, feeling relieved (phew, I didn't throw up) and proud of this accomplishment. It's been a dream of mine to officiate a wedding and I am stoked to check that item off the ol' bucket list.
During the final moments of the reception, while family and friends circled around a beaming bride and her adorable new husband, singing the Rusted Root classic Send Me On My Way, and while I laughed, twirled, kicked off my high heels, feeling incredibly grateful and alive in the moment...a tiny voice in my mind suddenly whispered Don't miss your life.
If I may, allow me to explain...
To be blunt, I have been struggling lately with bouts of crippling anxiety. I plan to talk about this further on a near-future blog post, as it is a deeply important subject to me, but I am allowing myself some more time to really collect my thoughts and feel ready to put them out there. (Note to self: OK little lady, you can't chicken out now). For the time being, I will just say it is a very, very slippery slope, anxiety; your mind swirls, your pulse races and before you know it you are doubting/questioning/fearing every topic your brain erratically jumps to and from.
It is humbling, disruptive and saddening.
It is overwhelming and it is scary.
The past few months I've found myself navigating these anxious waters and it hasn't been very easy for me. I have allowed certain people to make my spirit feel quite small and I have lost the everything is going to be ok mental battle more often than not. Because of this, I have been missing it...(my life, that is)...in a lot of ways. I've missed out on laughter. I've missed out on play. I've missed out on connection. And I've missed out on trusting the process to the degree that has brought me so much joy and good in the past simply because my general bad habit of over-thinking has morphed into a real bitch of a disorder.
But I'm dealing. Riding the waves. Learning to ask for help and making it a point to breathe deeply and have more patience with myself and this journey; learning to have more appreciation and love for both of us, as well.
So, my sweet readers, I tell you all of this simply because if I could impart one single piece of advice to you--whether this is the 100th post you've read, your very first visit (welcome!) or your very last--it would be exactly what that tiny voice reminded me on Friday: Don't miss your life. Please, I beg you, don't let stress and worry, resentment and grudges, regret and fear (because in my heart of hearts, I know this is all anxiety is--fear at its strongest) prevent you from fully seeing it all unfold; from being deeply invested, present and alive.
Let it go; let it be. As a friend once told me, pain is inevitable--but suffering is optional. So kick off your high heels, twirl and laugh. Trust the process. Because as far as we know, you only get one shot at this particularly life and I, for one, really don't want to miss it....
God is Love,
Rev Tricia ;)