Live Meaningfully – By Ayesha G. Bullock, M.A.
I find myself watching a movie full of fantasy and fairy on this stormy summer night. The days are long and the nights are steamy and all around is the wonder and wizardry of a childlike cognizance. I can’t help but feel just a bit nostalgic for all of those days and nights, weeks and years that have become but merely reminiscent reverie. It wasn’t all that long ago that the end of the dock was the end of the world and the sun literally rose and set in our parents’ arms.
How is it then that we find ourselves raising our own children, making our own mistakes, paying our own bills and signing our own loans? How is it that we now fill our pre-slumber thoughts with retirement and responsibility in the place of confections and creations?
Most of the adults I know still recognize themselves as the young’n that used to see the world through saucer-sized eyes as opposed to the wizened hooded lids of today’s mirrors. Most of us, if we’re being very honest, still find ourselves responding and reacting as our inner children instead of the self-aware adults we pretend to be. And yet, day after day, night after night we don our adult hats and go once more into the fray in order to be a better version of ourselves than we were the night before.
The countenance before us may age – the hair becoming greyer and the joints achier- but how are we really growing each day? What are we doing in order to be a more mature, emotionally responsive, and resilient version of ourselves? Where do we find the strength and the inspiration to be more than we were yesterday?
We choose it. We intentionally reflect, assess and set out to grow, to actualize, to honor the adult self we want from others. And we stretch to the furthermost vulnerable and self-honest places that our hearts can bear… And then we leap even a little beyond that.
We leap into the arms of an unsuspecting spouse or sibling or friend; we look to be accepted as we are instead of as we have protectively pretended to be. We extend a cautious foot onto each board of the rickety suspension bridge that connects our former selves and our aspirational selves and we trust the footing even in the haze and the fog of life and disappointments and maladaptive histories.
We grab the rope and swing into the Neverland of our discoveries and trust ourselves that no matter what may lay on the other side, it is worth the risk of being the full spectrum of our true selves.
How do we do this? We rise to the challenge and grab the gauntlet of our desired life. Of the relationship we want, of the career about which we’ve always dreamt, of the sense of belonging we believe possible even if not ever yet felt. We shed our prickly exteriors and we ask, with as humble a heart as we can, for that thing which most excites and terrifies us. We ask those who have proven themselves worthy, to gently and tenderly hold our hearts and our hopes and our fears and not save us from them, but rather sit with us in the reality of them and witness our triumph in, amongst and over them. We ask for the love we deserve and we dare to offer the love we are capable of giving.
So this month, in the glow of the summer lightning, take stock of those around you and choose to sprinkle a little pixie dust in your life… There’s no telling what marvels may bloom in your own Kensington Garden.
Be Well; Live Meaningfully.
Till the next time,
Ayesha G. Bullock, M.A. practices at 2150 Park Avenue North as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407.796.2959