by Elouise

Drifting —
Her uneasy spirit
Ticks off tasks
And activities
Afraid of being alone
Doing nothing
Weary of running
All her life
Reluctant to stop
Or listen
For fear she’ll hear
Though everything
Surrounds her
Longing to be seen
Heard and loved
Just as it is –
Just as she is

Rarely in my lifetime have I described myself as drifting. I was diligent, dutiful, loyal and above all, busy. I was also filled with fear, driven consciously and unconsciously by the need for acceptance, affirmation and love.

The cost I paid for this approach to life didn’t seem high until later in life when things began falling apart. In fact, I thought that by excelling I wouldn’t have to pay a cost. Instead, I would make for myself another life. A happy life in which I was accepted, valued and loved by others.

The thought of loving and accepting myself was foreign, if not evidence of a falsely proud heart. Whatever Christian Scripture means when it says we’re to love our neighbors as ourselves, it couldn’t possibly mean loving myself. Especially just as I was and am. Self-indulgence was like worshiping another god.

I tend to internalize my world. Partly because of my personality, and partly from leftover shame (never good enough). This means, oddly, that something as simple as sitting quietly, listening to whatever I hear, feels dangerous. Maybe I’m not a good listener. (I don’t hear anything but my discomfort.) Or maybe I’m not as relaxed as I think I am. (My attention keeps wandering.)

Last week and this week I’m practicing doing as little as possible. I want to drift in a way that honors who I am. That means taking small opportunities to be alone with myself. Not to prove I can do this, but as a way of accepting who I am today, where I am, why I’m here, and loving what I discover.

Happy Monday, and happy drifting!

©Elouise Renich Fraser, 4 June 2018
Photo found at salainart.blogspot.com