Living in the How

Last week, I wrote about the importance of leaning in. This Sunday, I was blessed with an opportunity to practice what I teach. It was one of those times, and maybe you have been there, where you are invited to an event you really do not want to go to. It is not that you cannot physically go. It is that you do not want to go. As a friend of mine said, it was one of those awkward times like when you are invited to your ex’s wedding. You are happy they have moved on and found someone who makes them happy, you wish them well, but you do not need to go to the wedding. It was that kind of thing.

So this Sunday morning was one of those moments for me. I knew the minute I saw the invitation I was not going to go. I found myself wanting to lean away from my feelings; however, I know that I am not going to move forward in my own spiritual evolution by leaning away, so I leaned in and spent time peeling back all the layers of feelings, some of which had nothing to do with the situation at all.

The reason I knew I needed to lean in was that I found myself judging myself for deciding not to go. I was not judging myself so much for not going; it was more for wanting to say that I could not go because I did not have Para-transit services on the weekends. This is true. However, I was also planning to go somewhere that night to spend time with friends in a space where I could use either my walker or manual wheelchair to get around. So I had to stop and ask myself why I really was not going. I also had to look at why I was judging myself for not going somewhere. I started to think about the situation and how did I want to interact with the people at this event. How did I want to feel about going to this event? How in this situation could I be compassionate, kind, and loving?

What I realized as I thought through these questions was that it really is all about the journey. It is not so much about where we are going, or whether or not I went to this event, but about the journey of learning how in this situation I could be compassionate, kind, and loving. Once I thought about these questions, I realized that I wanted to be able to interact with the people who would be there with love and I wanted to feel happy and joyful about going to this event. The reality was that I did not feel that way. While I was happy for those involved, I did not feel the need to go. As I thought through this, I realized I could still be compassionate, kind, and loving in this situation, even if I did not attend. So I wrote a letter to the person who invited me wishing them nothing but the best and letting them know I would not be able to attend.

I had to release the voice in my head that told me I was a bad person for not going; that voice that told me I should be evolved enough to be able to go. When I gave myself permission, to be who I am and where I am in the present, I felt a freedom and lightness. I, like so many others, am on a constant journey of not comparing who I am at present to who I am becoming or would be in an ideal life. 

The gift in this was that it led me to a place where now I question how I am going to be in this life. How can I be loving, compassionate, and kind in all that I do? This gift provided me with an opportunity to evolve to a deeper level of understanding of myself, of truth, and of love. It reminded me once again that I am not the roles, which I play in life, but the qualities with which I live my life.  

While I focus on being fully present in my life, I am also now focusing on living in the how, so I can be mindful to think about how the qualities which I value most can flow through me. This is how I want to live my life, being a living testimony of love, compassion, and kindness.