Friday, October 19, 2012

There is no excuse

Do you make the time to be with yourself?

As you are. As your reality is. No pretense, no stories, no excuses. You don’t need an excuse. Remember? You don’t need an excuse for yourself. There’s a faint echo reminding us there is no need for apologies or explanations to make it right. If we’re still making excuses, we’re still avoiding the chance to meet ourselves again for the first time.
A few years ago, my friend and I started an affectionate little tradition. Whenever one of us would say “Excuse me,” the other would say teasingly and lovingly, “There’s no excuse for you.” It’s true, there isn’t. Why does there have to be one, anyway?

Perhaps you can relate to this: I repeatedly make excuses for how I feel, what I do and what I don’t do. What am I really saying? Two things: I don’t have a right to feel, and in some cases, I don’t WANT to feel or be associated with my actions because I would surely be struck by lightning if I let go.

If you’re feeling silly, can you be so without apologizing? If you’re angry, can you dwell in it and give yourself time to process? If you are joyful, can you express it unhindered? If you are grieving, can you explore the ache in your heart, trusting that you will not be consumed by it?

I leave you with a journal entry I scrawled out recently. Just remember: there is no excuse for you, my love. You never needed one.

My breath and the ache in my chest weigh me into the cafĂ© booth—woven teal against my back and soft blackened brown under my thighs. Morning sunlight brushes the right side of my head, warming my scalp and the tip of my ear.

I realize this is the first moment in weeks—maybe months—where I have taken the opportunity to sit with myself, feeling free in my own time. It’s that independence not driven by: “I can do it on my own” but rather: “I need to remember and get to know myself on my own terms.”
I imagine I’m sitting across from myself, sharing breakfast, and when I look myself in the eyes I feel the lump build in my throat. I would burst into tears and choke out a humble “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry I haven’t been very attentive towards you.

My breakfast arrives: an elaborate vegetable omelet with a side of potatoes dusted with herbs, and a golden brown biscuit. All completed by fresh squeezed orange juice. The potatoes taste like camping: warm, fragrant and woody. The orange juice is like a crisp fall day, served in the perfect little serving size; just enough to send that shiver down my spine, awakening my nervous system as tart citrus drips across my tongue.

The stress of the last week has finally begun to melt from my shoulder blades and the pit in my stomach, though enough remains to remind me of the work and intention still ahead. The decisions. And the discomfort—good lord, what have I signed up for? Freedom, I guess. Nourishment, even when it comes with a harsh side of bitter teas and spices. I am still angry; I feel that dull twist and pull in my stomach, the black square weight nestled on my chest. I’m not yet able to fully enjoy this new chapter while exhaustion still pulls at my shoulders and fingers.
But it is a moment like this one that reminds me to dwell in my reality as I currently stand in it. The fact that it is my reality at all is Grace in and of itself. “I know that I am like the rain; there but for the grace of you go I.”