During a “getting caught up” phone call with a good friend last night, I was giving her the scoop on all the craziness currently surrounding me. I am definitely going through something, but I’m not feeling out of control. I laughed when she said it sounds like I’m really handling everything well. “Perhaps,” I replied, “But I feel like I’m on the awkward side of clumsy through all of this.” She described a perfect image of one of those wobbly dolls bearing a weight in its center. The doll moves around, but never losses its balance. Yeah, that’s about right.
This is me right now, and I know we’ve all been here. It’s not exactly my world that is caving in, but I’m standing in the middle of something that feels like a mild hurricane. Things are getting thrown at me from several directions, and people are challenging me without even knowing they are doing it. It’s part of their role in my life right now. I’m being provoked because I’ve been desiring to become more independent and I’m desperately trying to listen to my own inner voice, which often gets eclipsed by the needs and wants of others. How many times in my life have I disconnected from my own self in order to please another person, or to win over their approval? How many times have I compromised my own values so that I feel safe, instead of stand strong and trust that I will be provided for when I follow the right path? Too many times to count, and I’m not doing it anymore. I may be wobbly in thought, but I’m not being pulled by someone else’s idea of what is right for me. And then there’s the question nagging inside of me… Am I being to stubborn, or too selfish? This is when the wobbling begins. I often doubt myself because I haven’t had a lot of practice listening and following my own inner voice. The outside voices are louder and some of the choices I’m offered to make, appear more cushy and safe than me trying to stand on my own two feet for once.
But then I recall my past, when I did make those cushy and safe choices in my life. Where did I end up? Oh, that’s right… DRUNK. The further I get away from myself, the closer I am to picking up a drink to drown out the calling of my soul. I have this really assertive soul, you see, that does not rest. It beckons me like a beacon light… I’m telling you. It’s like it came here to accomplish specific things and when I stray away from my path, I’m insanely unhappy. I realize I may be different from a lot of people, and perhaps no one can relate to me here, but this is what I deal with in my life. I’m clear about my path, and sometimes I’ve got to stand up for myself when other people are telling me which direction to take, because they are not living inside my body. They don’t know what I need. Only I know this. “To thyself be true.” Someone wise said this. I’m pretty certain he was a fellow writer…
I’m still coming off as rebellious and perhaps a little immature, but it’s my inner child screaming to break free this time around. I never let that little one have her way while I was growing up. I shut her down and oppressed her. To quiet her, I poured drinks inside my body and took drugs. Now she is free, and I’m unaccustomed to allowing her to lead the way. I’m giving her a voice now, but she’s undeveloped and sometimes stomps her foot and throws little tantrums while my adult-self is lost in the shadows of her zeal for life. As a whole, I am still breaking free from the restraints of my childhood, and I’m not perfect at this endeavor. But for once in my life, I am not afraid. I do not fear walking along the right path. I may offend some, ignore others, and bark up the wrong trees at times, but I think of this as my soul learning how to navigate through the noise of other people. From the outside it may appear that I’m a little off-balance, but from within (from this perspective), I’m becoming aware of my place here. This is nothing short of a miracle.
I’m discovering that by taking a chance and allowing my voice to be heard for once, I’m offering myself unto the judgment of others. I also hear my own inner judge, but I’m not letting her rule this time around. There is a little word I heard about in treatment, called compassion. I’m giving myself compassion right now. I’m not perfect. I’m still on the awkward side of clumsy, but I’m ok with this. I have been in much more compromising positions in my life than this… in front of the whole world (literally), and I suppose this is why I don’t have a problem with judgment any longer. People judge. This is the nature of humanity.
As I walk into the chaos surrounding me today, I’m just going to wobble my way through, and trust that inner weight of my soul has the courage to keep me centered. I’m not allowing the world to sway me from this awkward balance of mine. Pretty soon, I will be more like a sturdy oak tree with arms extending out into the world so that I can help others like me. But for now, I will be the little wobbly doll, and I am absolutely ok with it, because at least I am not drinking. This is why I consider my chaotic life an absolute victory.