No Small Thing

31 Dec

Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart

— A.A. Milne

Small things.

Last night I went to see  Les Miserables. To be honest, I knew the story but had never experienced it the way in which the musical presents, close and intimate, personal and real. So many characters, so many lines registered in my heart that I had little room for anything else when I left the theater. Sacrifice, that is what the story is all about…sacrifice. Perhaps I understood it all too well. The film tired me emotionally and I went home to tissues and sleep.

Sunday, I tried to write but grading papers got in the way and I think I was still trying to process the night before, this meaning in sacrifice.  During my dinner at Dish before the film, I met a young couple from out of town who were interested in knowing more about places to go and restaurants here. I paused from my dinner of little plates and tore a sheet from my notebook, writing down some of the names of places I love . Then, I went to sit back at the bar and smiled that smile. The “I do so like to see the young people in love and having fun” smile. And it gave me a great pause.

Last night as I tried to write, the words still wouldn’t come. I tried to imagine myself in my little kitchen in Ocracoke and it just wasn’t working, so I finally opened the DVD that one of my former students had sent to me, and began to watch: Finding Joe. 

That’s when it all made sense. From beginning to end, the idea of the journey and everything that has developed in the last few weeks just became clear. I’ve been on a  hero’s quest. In its simplest terms, I am on the path to my most authentic life. Each line from the film, each idea, reaffirmed that I am discovering myself and conscious of my own evolution. What causes me the most confusion, frustration, and pain is fighting against myself all the time. Adhering to “shoulds” and t “shouldn’t’s” puts me into a place where I lose my authentic self,  and the sight of my path. I remember walking the darkened streets in Ocracoke with only a pen flash light and not feeling afraid. Of actually enjoying the quiet darkness and the comfort of a sandy path. There I discovered that when I act out of a sense of complete inner conviction, it never goes wrong. And I attain a sense of peacefulness that is hard to describe. Joe would say to me,  “Stop fighting, stop. Allow. Say your truth and let it be Remain in the immovable spot, following your truest self and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

Most people walk this planet asleep,tigers among sheep, eating sheep’s food and pretending to enjoy it. And then the tiger comes and force feeds us the truth about our selves and our lives and we choke. But then we grow and know, I am a tiger, meant for a tiger’s life.

I need to remember that being  awake is to walk a singular road, intersecting companions, experiences, challenges, and gifts of insight.  So much of what the journey really comes down to is small things, basic things that we all need. Life becomes cluttered with trivialities and in that cluttering, we lose ourselves and the chance at happiness. The simplicity of Ocracoke reminds of the life I truly want.

Once I watched that film, I knew that beyond the next month or two, I have no plan, no real expectations and that’s okay. Life should be a series of small plates, small plates shared at the table of life with others. Journeys intertwine for a reason. And I needed to think of my challenges as not being put into my life to inhibit me, but being presented with challenges in which I can grow and eventually make a difference. In other words, I have begun to see that I make a difference inside the challenge. I am an active participant, not a victim.

I have struggled whether I should make this blog public. It is so intimate. Its personal. I’m letting a lot of strangers into my inner world. But its tied into learning my purpose. Now I simply cannot look aside from sharing it. To allow this kind of personal scrutiny is risky, I know. This is the beginning of my bliss, though. One of my friends said to me,”We all have things we want to do before we die Cyndi, but you…you actually do them. ” He said, “One of my coworkers saw your picture while I was messaging you on Facebook and I told him about your bucket list and how you really live that way. I said to him, ‘Wanna see her tattoo?’ And then I showed him the pictures and he was…WOW.”

My friend also told me a story about having regret over never telling a girl how he felt when he had the chance when he was fourteen. It had stayed with him all these years, so he found her, and told her about his regret. He laughed about the fact that she didn’t remember him and how ironic that was, but the true issue is this:

The things you regret, the things you want to do but never do because of should or shouldn’t have the power to limit your life.

And when your life is limited, you remain a tiger among sheep.

I think I’ve already made the decision, to not worry about what others think of me, to live my most authentic life. And my wish is for everyone to live life with such intention, to follow their bliss, to have the Universe bring them their greatest happiness. Heaven is within us. Joe believed that.

I have fear.. we all do. But having the courage to do and to share what I have been given is the only way to happiness.

I heard the call, Joe, and I’m listening ….and following. Really,its no small thing.

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