The Me I Want To Be
On her latest album, India Arie titles a song "Just Do You." It is a motivating song, with challenging lyrics. I would give anything to rise to her challenge, and attain the secrets toward becoming the person I want to be rather than the person who is tortured by dreams that seem unattainable. India says: just do you-, and while her advise is simple, I just don't know how.
I would think that "just doing me" would require me to convert to the me I want to be. The me that wants to be selfless, thoughtful, and generous. My heart is inspired and moved with compassion to share with people who are grieving, or in need. I often desire to seize opportunities to give gifts of thought, and to help people feel a bit of joy in their time of difficulty. I fill with an aching desire to be a small source of joy to them in their time of loss and pain, and I can rarely ignore it! In those times, however, when my inner me should show up... some how something takes over and convinces me to refrain from any action that represents this state of mind.
Something keeps me from reaching out to people in need and sometimes I think that I am this obstructing force all on my own. That I am the something that is making my own conversion impossible. When I learn that someone is in need, when faced with the decision to submit to my inner desire and engage in action (something as simple as taking over a nice, warm dinner) I remain inactive and distracted like the walking dead who is not living on point and with purpose. A prisoner of binding chains, I submit to objectives opposite of my heart intentions while countless days continue to pass with me do nothing to become my ideal self. I continue watching moments of opportunity come, and go. These moments escape me, leaving me feeling empty, disappointed, and unfulfilled.
I've had several opportunities this past month to rise and embrace India Arie's challenge because there have been a lot of deaths in the community I live in. When a death occurs it symbolizes the highest time of need for support and love from friends and family. The recent deaths occurring around me have presented me with numerous opportunities to share love, to be thoughtful, and to show acts of generosity. Left behind are some people I know barely know, and some are ones who I am close to, but they all are folks who are equally deserving of my empathy, selflessness, thoughtfulness, and generosity. For me not to try to comfort them in some way is a complete rejection of my inner desire. I may excuse myself from time to time of this inner desire thinking; "because I don't know them too well, they aren't expecting anything from my anyway." But if this is a reasonable excuse in some cases, then I definitely should have an un-obstructing go ahead in those situations involving people I am close with, right? Well, just this past weekend I had a chance to appease my inner desire. I was presented with a chance to show selflessness, thoughtfulness, and generosity with someone close. A dear friend.
She is sick, and has been stuck in bed for days-- a caring, wonderful, sweet lady who I'd say is a friend of mine, someone who wouldn't fit that lack of closeness description I tend to lean on as an excuse for whether or not my rising up to act as my ideal self is fitting. In this case this past weekend, I weighed our closeness, and decided yes, I should exercise kindness here! I wanted to go over and bring her a "get well" gift, or go over and do her heart some good by just being present with her. I could even bring my children over, let her see and play with them- which is something that brings her heart joy. However, once again, I let the entire weekend pass without doing what was in my heart to do. I would get distracted by everything; television, sitting on the sofa, running MY little unimportant errands- and honestly the thought of her would escape my mind during these distracting moments. Yet, there were also moments when I would remember her, and imagine what I would say to her upon arrival, or during our visit. Coming to a sense of finality to rise to the occasion, I would think through what time frame would work best for me to head on over to her place. The plan, in my mind, was now in place. Arriving to this thought felt right. It was fitting. It was my chance to seize the moment---- be my ideal self. All that would be left was just to DO it. But I didn't.
And this is how it goes, every time. It is in these moments of ponder and planning, I feel it. The weight of chains holding me back from being my ideal self. This is how I can ask, how do you just do it? How do you convert yourself? When I imagine what it would be like to be the me I want to be-- selfless, thoughtful, and generous-- that is when the potential for imagery to convert into reality is at its closest point of reach. All there is left to do is to stop thinking, stop imaging myself as my "ideal" self, and BECOME my "ideal" self. In that moment is when you either convert or stay the same, and because when I am afforded these instances I debunk them, I can only derive that I must be prisoner to something currently unknown and beyond my control to conquer. These chains confine me to the act of honoring the imagery of my ideal self and leave me unable to project acts of generosity, and thoughtfulness. As if the act of imagining my ideal self is the only way I will ever witness some form of my ideal self.
Oh how tortuous it is to my soul to imagine myself as loving and living freely all the while I am but a prisoner to chains that stunt me just shy of an arms length to the prize!! A hostage, I am, to my own sensing of self and purpose. So close even to the point of psychological imagery, yet so completely distant from reality. Any ability I have to keep to the agreements I make within my inner self time and time again to be selfless, to be thoughtful, and to be generous seem fleeting and unattainable. And on some level, strangely enough, I think I hear someone saying...
"Keep imagining. For if we dare to imagine that which seems unattainable as suddenly attainable, all desire that is not will one day become that which is."
Are there any other precious scribblers out there like me- struggling to be the person you can really feel and sense living there inside you; hiding deeply, deeply, down within? How do we break free from these forces that cause us to continue playing the role of some unknown, unwanted self rather than becoming the person that we truly want to be.....?