“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” -George Bernard Shaw
I feel like I am surfacing out of the deep haze that has been totally focused on the healing of my son, who came a bit too close to the edge of life and death. He has emerged miraculously unscathed, hopefully more cautious and awake, but incredibly himself. During these moments, my life is an anchor for him and thoughts of my own goals and projects fade so far back that they are less than memory. During these times, the whole of my existence is about loving and healing my son.
As he gets strong, I feel the weight of the selflessness in my nervous system and in my sense of direction. Slowly I look for a way back into myself, refocusing on the work that inspires me, attending to the healing that I need in the aftermath of his accident.
It is a little wrenching, this pulling away from the singular focus of caring for someone who needs you. Coming back to myself at first is both a little empty and indulgent. I long for my own space and struggle to fill it.
The work of filling up my own life is new to me, one that I have avoided by all the commitments to others that have been so easy for me to make. This quest has offered me a deeper and deeper friendship with myself. I take baby steps at defining and refining the me that I am creating. Tomorrow I will go off into the world on my own, to listen for my own inner voice and learn more about how I want to communicate it in the world.
Van Gogh once wrote, “If one keeps loving faithfully what is really worth loving, and does not waste one’s love on insignificant and unworthy and meaningless things, one will get more light by and by and grow stronger…. one must keep something of the original character of an anchorite, for other wise one has no root in oneself; one must never let the fire go out in one’s soul, but keep it burning…. and will always clearly hear the voice of his conscience; he who hears and obeys that voice, which is the best gift of God, finds at least a friend in it, and is never alone.” A more worthwhile journey I couldn’t name.