Out of habit, I look up to the clouds. What is my path? Can You tell me?
I know what my Spirit is saying. But my domineering Flesh says otherwise. Its carnal desires want other things. More things. It complains of being tired. With Doubt as its sidekick, It claims that it is weak, has become dull of intellect, and possesses far too little capacity for knowledge. And it still wants an Audi. Badly.
Overlooking the bay, I close my eyes and attempt to meditate. Where will you have me go, Universe?
Questions crowd in demanding my attention:
How can you do this? How will you pay for it? What if you don’t get in? But what if you do and if you’re not smart enough to handle it? Aren’t you being selfish? How can you leave the familiar? Where would you put all your shoes?
Thoughts battle for my divided attention: My life and everything I know will completely and drastically change. I can’t read more than a couple chapters without nodding off. I haven’t been in school for 2-1/2 decades. This spot would make a great selfie. I wonder what everyone at home is doing. I need to tweet that. Gosh I love it here.
The sound of adjacent songbirds rouses me; I open my eyes and hear in my head, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
I love my Flesh. (See my Instagram for proof.) And it took me until mid-life(-ish, hopefully) to do so. I exercise it, trying to make it stronger. I moisturize it. I give it vitamins and supplements and the rays of the sun. I feed it Tex-Mex generously and also swirls and protein shakes and quinoa. And Blue Bell. And I clothe it with the finest resale items I can find. And cute underwear. And shoes.
Confronting my Vanity, I reason that if I spend so much time on said Flesh, I should certainly devote as much attention to my Spirit, often relegated to wallflower at a dance status or a pet on a leash, let off its chain only for a few moments to run and yap and chase its tail in the sun.
I counter my Doubt: if I truly believe I am fearfully and wonderfully made, could I possibly believe I am incapable or lack capacity? Flesh and spirit could work together, couldn’t they, each making the other stronger? And what if reasonable Intellect were paired with a deep and vibrant Passion just waiting for a deeper understanding that would expand my being and propel my flesh into new dimensions?
My Spirit, expanding by leaps and bounds in the last two years (something my Flesh is very aware of), rallies: How could I let timidity quench passion and power and love? My heart rate quickens; my Spirit delights at the possibility of stretching–soaring even. Of venturing into the unknown. Aching for attention that Flesh has so enjoyed for a considerable time.
And like a vapor, the moment is gone.
Yet I remain, along with Questions and Thoughts and Doubts and Hopes and Dreams and very real Concerns. And the exhilarating Joy of future possibilities.
This conversation is not over.
Most people give so much of themselves to others – those they love, and those they don’t, strangers even. Because of this sacrifice, and it is a sacrifice, the very act of giving to your own self appears selfish. From the time we are children, for some reason, in this society we are taught to put every other person’s needs before own. This life lesson could not be more misguided. It’s only when we give to and take care of our self first that we position ourselves to be able to even possibly take care of another person.
Giving to your self first is actually one of the most unselfish acts you could ever do. It’s freeing. It’s invigorating. Doing so will give you strength and clarity to live the rest of your life in a way you had only dreamt of before.
“Once you start recognizing the truth of your story, finish the story. It happened but you’re still here, you’re still capable, powerful, you’re not your circumstance. It happened and you made it through. You’re still fully equipped with every single tool you need to fulfill your purpose.”
Steve Maraboli – Life, the Truth, and Being Free
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