Chasing a life that doesn't belong to youMy friend Laura watched an Oprah interview with Caroline Myss the other day and wrote down this sentence. It is one of those collection of words that gives me goosebumps.
She said, "People suffer when they pursue a dream or chase a life that doesn't belong to them."
I just love the words ... " a life that doesn't belong to them." You can replace 'them' with 'me', and say " a life that doesn't belong to me." How does that feel in your body when you say that? I pondered that this morning and it took me to all kinds of places and to nowhere and then back full circle. Here are some of the thoughts that came up for me when writing about it.
My first thought was that it doesn't really apply to me because I am doing so many of my joys; I am doing a writing course; working on personal growth retreats and workshops; blogging; running my women's circles; working through books like the Firestarter Sessions and of course my yoga which I try to do three times a week. So I am really into all the stuff that makes my heart sing. And as I went deeper and deeper into it, and the writing took me all over and then even to a part where I said, "this feels like its fucking going nowhere," I finally got to the bottom line. I wrote "a life that doesn't belong to me is one where I am just too busy fighting the reality that I don't have the space for all I want to do even though I have such a burning desire to do it all!" So there's a revelation brought to light! I might be doing all the stuff that makes my heart sing, but then that joy is eroded by the angst of trying to pack it all in; by the irritation at my family because I have to look after them; by not getting enough sleep because I didn't get to read my book today; by shallow breathing because I am so busy rushing; by not having enough time for my husband and our relationship and by feeling that everyone including my little old dog and my feisty cats are eroding my time! Wow. So I will quietly step off that pedestal and take back those first thoughts, and be grateful for the insight into the angst I have been feeling of late. I can't say I have the answer as to how to fix that all, but I have something to work with, gently, as my friend Anne says.
What also came to light for me, were all kinds ideas about my life such as studying something that didn't belong to me; being the kind of mommy that doesn't belong to me; doing work that doesn't belong to me and doing the type of community work that doesn't belong to me. All of these kinds of lives and roles, have left me feeling out place and less than, more times than I can contemplate. I wish I could say that all of that happened years ago; but I bow my head and gently shake it.
Finally, a sentence in my writing piece that also stood out for me is, "How about 'chasing a life for my children that doesn't belong to me?'" Oooh! My perceptions of how their life should unfold and what they should be doing has also brought huge angst for me; their lives do not belong to me. How I would like them to perform on the sports field, at school, socially and in life may not be a life that belongs to me, that is destined for me. Another biggie for me.
So pondering this statement has been a really worthwhile exercise for me to do. Thank you Caroline Myss and Laura.