Over the winter holiday, our family grew. We welcomed Ginger, our rambunctious, happy go lucky, Golden Irish pup. “You must be crazy! This will change your life completely!” was the phrase we most heard (and, if we are to be honest, we thought this a few times ourselves). This morning, as I was attempting a walk of both dogs through the snow and ice, holding the poop bag in one hand, and trying to untangle the dogs leashes with the other, the thought struck me that it was actually a wonderful morning, fresh and crisp, silent and white and that I was completely immersed in the walking of the two dogs, completely in the present, really enjoying myself, something which seldom happens to me – I usually am listening to a podcast, while making plans, while walking the dog. And this is how I realized that all of the amazing things I am so grateful for today are things someone advised me against at one point or another.
Most of the times in grade school or high school when I wanted to do something out of the ordinary – be the school newspaper editor, direct a play, start a revolution, run for a scholarship to the US, peer pressure and sometimes even the voice of a teacher or another would caution me of the risk of failure. “Come on, do you really think you can do this?” said a voice outside of me, sadly, in sync with one inside that had been singing this tune since early childhood.
I tried and tried to become a mother for years and years and when this seemed like an impossible thing to achieve I tried harder. I remember my late, beloved, grandmother, telling me to stop trying, children are a mess in one’s life anyway. Awkwardness aside (after all, my mom was her child), I got it that she was trying to be loving and protective in her own way. Even if, by saying all of this she was giving wings to that thought in my brain that said exactly the same thing.
I had been married for 12 years and the mother of a 5 year old when I recognized that my own life was important as well and that it was time to go the way of the heart. I remember my mother explaining to me how doing this is not what real life is about, how this is all a “metaphor” I would one day wake up from and be sorry. This time the voice in my head was yelling in a chorus with my mother. “You are going to ruin your life and your child’s life” I heard all around. And still, I went ahead and chose life over death among the living.
So I was wondering this morning, what made me go on? If you sit really, really still and do your best to tune out of the voices around you and the loud voices of fear inside you, you will miraculously start hearing that soft, almost faint voice inside that says “Do it anyway!”. For years and years I heard that voice and did it anyway without understanding what this is all about. A few months ago, hearing Glennon Doyle speak, I understood what was actually happening. Glennon says that we know the difference between the fear voice and God’s voice by the way it feels: fear is the bla bla bla we hear chattering in our minds, the “what ifs” and worst case scenarios; God is knowing. That soft and almost faint knowing you get in your heart when you are still. And we, humans are just perfectly equipped with the tracker for that special place inside of them – the breath.