This year, as the holidays arrive – maddeningly even earlier this year than last – I find myself fighting to find meaning in it all. I can feel weighted down by the amount of ‘stuff’ I own, yet still feel called upon to add to during the holidays. That even includes books. At the same time, I feel blessed that many of these books opened my eyes to the lives of others, and brought me closer to my women friends reading them along with me.
Letting there be room for not knowing is the . . .
For older adults, the hope of improvement can be small. This doesn’t mean they can’t stay active and become stronger. They can, but very rarely is the more challenging thing becoming easier just with repetition.
Our spirits cannot be whole if we have to keep the truth of our lives secret from ourselves, whether it’s the truth of what happened to us (and that it did indeed matter) or the truth of what isn’t happening in our lives. We cannot be whole if we hold tight our secrets out of shame, not discernment.
In this multi-ethnic society, we don’t hear the term “melting pot” used anymore. But there are unstated assumptions that remain nevertheless. We see the other through the prism of our own view of reality.
At certain points, I can’t hold the postures. I pause, look around the room and inch closer to the door where there is the smallest sliver of air. The class continues with my mind darting in different places. I negotiate with my limbs.
It was a difficult story, and I wasn’t quite figuring it out, and I would have probably given up, but it was George Saunders, and I wanted to know what was going to happen. And just as my husband approached a stoplight where I had ridden my bike throughout adolescence, I got to the brilliant end, which made a kind of cosmic sense that brought tears to my eyes and filled my heart, and I thought this guy must be the greatest short story writer ever.
I am amazed, always, to see someone begin to realize that they are more than what they do, that their interior journey matters, and that they are always held by love.
Parents help children feel rooted in their family—belonging and being accepted no matter their passions, their hopes, their identity. Gradually, this sense of belonging gives children the confidence to take wing and ‘belong’ elsewhere, building their own lives.
I write for the exact reason Dillard implies–to figure out why I’m interested, why I care, or why I’m bothered. I write often, for example, on the topics of parenting, marriage, and friendship because I wonder about behavior, motivation, consequences, and how to get better in all three areas. I’m not an expert. I’m just exploring. I write to analyze. And I analyze to improve.
Caring what others think doesn’t mean we’re weak—it means we don’t assume our ego is at the center of the universe. It means we’re open and willing to hear other perspectives, that we recognize the possibility that we might be wrong sometimes, or straying off course, or that people actually have our best interests at heart.