Monday, March 29, 2010

After the Storm

I went skydiving again this weekend. It was my third jump.

I just reread the previous entry. Even with all the major turns my life has taken since the previous post, that entry is still a powerful and poignant reminder of exactly how liberating that first jump was.

And here's the cool thing: subsequent jumps have been even better.

It is not about how great it is to jump out of a plane. Skydiving is great for me, but that's not the point. The point is, I'm awake now. Jumping out of a plane reminds me how to be awake.

In the past four months I have cried more tears than I ever did as an adolescent drama queen. I have felt more painful and powerful truths and aches than I knew I could bear. But here's the thing: I HAVE bore them, every aching moment of them. And I'm okay. In fact, I am better than okay. I'm finally awake.

No one ever forced me to numb myself. I did it to myself. I did it in tiny steps and never even noticed. I was busy. I was a mommy and a boss and a worker and a million other things to a hundred different people. I wasn't unhappy. I was busy. I was numb.

Last weekend I ran a half marathon. I planned and trained for 12 weeks to prep for the event and I was very confident I would complete on target pace. The part that surprised me was my emotions at the start. As I jogged past the starting line, just beginning the first few steps of 13.1 miles, I welled up with deep and unrecognized emotions and burst into tears. I still couldn't tell you what exactly I was crying about. All I know for sure is that I am awake. I am inhabiting myself.

I've learned that I can have a great day, even after I start the morning in abject tears over the blows to my ego and personal idea of how my life was 'supposed to be'. I've learned that I have no idea what my life is supposed to be. I've learned that the faster I let go of 'supposed to' and embrace the now, the more awake I become. I've learned that its not really about me usually. I've learned that I can live with myself and love myself, even after all the horrible mistakes and misdeeds of my life. I've learned to forgive and to be forgiven.

Forgiveness is a powerful truth. Forgiveness can move through you like a windstorm, shaking everything and breaking down old and well-used barricades. Forgiveness (and forgiving) will scare you and disrupt you and force you down to the cellar if you cannot face it.

And after the storm, if you are me, you clean up the rubble and jump out of another airplane. Because I LOVE being awake.