To me, freedom feels like this. And this is how I feel today.
Not to minimize anything else I’ve done in my life — I’ve worked in a lot of different and rewarding roles, like being a teacher and writer — but it’s only now that I feel like I’m really understanding my potential as a professional.
Do I wish I had been able to access all of this power 20 years ago? Of course. But wishing won’t make it so. My reality is that I’m 52, and I’m here, and I’ve got these skills and abilities that I’m not really using. And I want to use them.
Like … lately I’ve been experimenting with taking my writing skills in a brand new direction, in addition to fiction. And I’ve toyed with the idea of resurrecting my music composition skills that have been dormant for more years than I care to say.
But hey, I can’t look back. The past is gone. The future is an illusion. Right now is what I have. And in this moment, I’m happy. I know myself, really know myself. I don’t need anyone else to make me whole. I don’t need anyone’s love, permission, anything. I’m strong and confident, and I have no fear of anything.
I can do whatever I want to do. I’m FREE.
I read something today that has had a profound effect on me. I will simply link to it, and you can read it (scroll down the page a little): You Have Permission.
It seems like every day for the past few weeks, I’ve learned a life lesson.
Today, I realized that all of these smaller lessons have added up to one major one: that it’s time for me to really put myself first.
It’s hard to explain in words, on a blog, how major this realization is. It affects absolutely everything in my life. For far too many years, the effects of trauma meant that I wasn’t able to listen to myself. In the past couple of years, I’ve been able to tune into my own inner voice — through an incredible amount of hard work, both in the therapeutic process and on my own.
Now, I’ve heard what the inner ME has to say. And I have to tell you, the truth can be painful sometimes. I’ve looked at myself in ways that I didn’t think I could, from every angle imaginable. If anyone thinks self-examination is always fun, then they’ve never really done it.
So you may be wondering, what have you learned, Lucy?
Well, in a nutshell, I’ve figured out that the way I’m living right now — my current life situation — is basically destroying me, the inner me. There is nothing about my current life situation that is nurturing the real me, and in fact, it’s having the opposite effect.
How do I know? I’ve spent the past 3 months sick. Really sick. The flu, and now what appears to be some kind of infection — I have to go to the doctor Monday to find out. My health is causing me acute suffering and pain, and I believe the reason is because my body is trying to tell me something important: that the external suffering is really a manifestation of my internal suffering. Suffering I’m bringing onto myself by not putting my needs first.
I have to stop this from continuing. Which means I’m going to have to make serious — and I do mean serious — decisions. I can’t upend my life situation overnight, but today I am writing a list of all the things I will change over the next 12 months and then beginning to do them.
This is my one and only life. MY life. I’ve finally figured that out. I can’t keep putting other people’s lives in front of my own, just because I’m afraid to do the right things for myself. I’ll have to take whatever consequences may come, including financial problems for awhile, if need be. But I believe that by following my inner voice, I’ll not only pull myself out of whatever financial hole I find myself in, I’ll also reach greater heights than ever before: not just financially, but in every way.