Copious reminders have surfaced of late regarding the power of happiness, and the power of sharing our own happiness with others. I was afforded the opportunity to spend some time with people who love me unconditionally (and who have known me as I lived through more interesting times, and who love me anyway) in the past while. And in the safety of this space, I realized how much more I have to offer the world when I am exactly me. And my resolution this year remains to spend time with the friends who I love so dearly my heart aches just thinking of them.
And on the wings of this experience, I found myself laughing genuinely with my students today as we talked about the power of exploring multiple perspectives, reading and learning, and...I realized that it really is this simple. Emily Dickinson writes of wings that carry us through "dingy streets" of life and lift us above through the power of imagination. And I realize that we each carry this within us: the power to explore the stories of others, the power to learn, to grow, and to believe...and to fly above.
I'm going to fly. I'm going to leave the confines of my current reality, which is perfectly fine, but perfectly fine doesn't suffice. I have wrestled and wrestled with practicality versus sanity, and responsibility versus risk. I'm a very pragmatic person (fortunately or unfortunately). I have come down on the side of responsibility, but finally, finally, it is responsibility for myself and my own happiness. And nothing ever comes too soon or too late when we're listening carefully. I couldn't have made this decision a year ago, and I would have berated myself for a whole litany of things if I had. There comes a point in time when we can, with no apology, move on, move beyond, and do so gracefully.
And this freedom, borne of a decision that's been a long time coming, allows me to share my happiness, genuinely, with others. And this brings me back to Pema Chodron, whose words have helped me conjure these wings: "The whole journey of renunciation, or starting to say yes to life, is first of all realizing that you've come up against your edge, that everything in you is saying no, and then at that point, softening. This is yet another opportunity to develop loving-kindness for yourself, which results in playfulness--learning to play like a raven in the wind."
Time to assemble the wings. Time to offer myself the space and perspective to envision, revision, and believe. It is time.