a damn fine feeling

To believe that I didn’t need to reach with my bare hands anymore. To know that seeing the fish beneath the surface of the water was enough. That it was everything. It was my life – like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me.
How wild it was, to let it be.
–Cheryl Strayed

Over the past four years my life has changed in ways that simply telling the story cannot explain.  I’ll try to do so by giving a few examples.  I take fewer pictures now because I’ve learned that taking the picture often requires my focus to be on the angle, on the shot, and not on the moment.  I’ve come to care less about how I look and more about how I feel; how can I enjoy the moment if I’m focused on looking good at the expense of feeling free?  I’m more likely to dance in public when I get the urge to dance, or to break out some yoga when I’m feeling stiff, even if it means that–gasp–people might see me.  In doing that, I find that I am content in the moment, that I “find” happiness without looking for it.

Cheryl Strayed’s quote from Wild jumped at me, tugging at my recent experiences and understanding.  To say that life is enough, that it is enough to simply live and not have to grab at life, it reflects where I am right now.  I think it’s a pretty great place.  The thing is, I know I’m still spending a lot of time hung up on things that don’t matter, and that means, if I can continue living with intention, life will only get better.  That’s a damn fine feeling.

I’m a newbie to the idea of living life with intention.  I want my life to reflect my values, and in order to do that, I have to remind myself that I need to live those values.  I sometimes forget that, in order to do this, I have to refill my own cup, give myself time. The big intention I’m working on right now is to be accepting.  I need to accept others for who they are, and I need to accept myself as I am with the understanding that accepting myself does not mean that I am perfect.  It also does not mean that I cannot improve.

This time last year, I would have said I was accepting of myself approximately 10% of the time.  It’s now reversed, for the most part.  I have moments of self-hatred, if I’m to be honest.  I get sucked into fraud syndrome, just like many women.  But they are moments and not days, and that’s progress.  I am working on building my confidence, because I deserve it.  I am not a fraud.  I am intelligent, and, more importantly, I am kind and caring.  Those aren’t traits of a fraud, but instead they are traits of a person who is worthy of accepting herself.  That’s a damn fine feeling.


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