less than I used to be

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Is there beauty to be found in every moment?

There is so much sadness and grief and misery in the world and sometimes, when I get a peek outside of my safe circle and see the despair and realize the helplessness, inspiration can be hard to find and I vainly attempt to imagine the pain.

The rock at the bottom can feel hard and dry and the darkness in the corners close all around and I wonder, where is the hope for those who suffer?  Will they ever know what it is to feel peace?

This life – my life – the one that I have experienced, has been far from hard.  I have not suffered great losses and when hardships and unexpected things have come up, they have worked themselves out seemingly “on their own”.  Maybe I have felt dumb or embarrassed or wounded or justified or wanted to be someone other than I am at times, but this is part of growing.

As I get older, I find that I am loving myself more and because of that, I am able to let go of so many insecurities and pay more attention to the people around me.  I always thought that “loving myself” meant becoming vain and self-conscious, but in reality, it has meant the opposite.  The more I accept who I am, the less I think about it, and the more I can focus on others and celebrate their differences, rather than see them as a threat.

I fail still.  I am vain.  I am self-absorbed.

But,

I am less than I used to be.

Feeling grateful for the place I am at, even with the many unknowns I hold tight to my chest not knowing whether the answers can ever be found or if they are important, anyway.

I can be who I am at this moment.

Occasionally, my husband and I would look at our wedding pictures and find ourselves shaking our heads a little at those young kids who have no idea who they are.  We say to each other, “we would have done things so differently now.”

Of course we would.  But that is because we are not who we were 7 1/2 years ago.  Those pictures are not of us in the present, but who we were and where we came from.

For some time, I didn’t like to look at those pictures very much, always silently shaking my head at them.

Now I wouldn’t change them. I no longer say, “we would have done things differently”, because we wouldn’t have and we didn’t.  I smile a little at them and see them as a reminder of where we have been and who we were at that time and how much we change as life goes on.

I wonder what we will say in another 7 years about these “young kids” that we’ll look back and see in photographs.

– b.e.

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