Tuesday, June 11, 2013

AN UNLIVED LIFE

My granddaughter, Rylee, at Venice Beach, CA
“I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.” -Dawna Markova

On Monday mornings I log into my work computer in a somnambulistic state. I often wonder how I arrive to work in one piece wearing matching clothes as I barely recall my hourlong commute. Scary, I know. 

Yesterday was no different and it was particularly brutal with road rage and hormonal insanity. I had my headphones in my ear pouring my pastor's sermon into my head but did that stop me from flipping a driver off? Oh nooooo! (Jesus, keep me in check, please!)

After the mundane ritual of logging into my work computer I scrolled through my phone to check Facebook because Monday morning isn't complete without it. (Ha!) The first item on my feed was my editor's status update brandishing the quote above. It pierced through my Monday morning fog. 

It's the legacy I want to leave for Rylee and my future grandkids. It was the electric current I needed to wake me from my unconsciousness because I allowed something as inconsequential as road rage to steal my joy. 

Lately, dissension has polluted my close relationships. I feel as if I pour my life into my loved ones who are quick to believe I'm the bad guy with evil intentions. I strive to show with my actions that I'm supportive, edifying, and dependable, yet, it seems I'm misunderstood and it infuriates me. 

These are people I can't avoid, cut off, or divorce. I drove into work with the foulest of moods vowing to stop being readily available for these ingrates. 

I shall think only of myself. I shall live my life on my time. I shall spend time doing the things I only want to do. I shall serve only me. 

Wishful thinking, right? I could choose to be self-serving and self-absorbed but why confine myself to a limited existence? Like the quote above says, "I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.”

Living an unlived life means I love and serve others unconditionally putting my own happiness second. I can't control the loved ones who misconstrue or feel offended by my actions. When I'm accused of being negative and unsupportive because I chose to speak up about MY pain it's not my issue but theirs. 

When "I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise," I prevent becoming a waste of space. 

My cousin sent me a text earlier tonight apologizing for not extending an invitation to me for a cousin get-together this past weekend. My response reiterated that she shouldn't feel the need to apologize because the day I begin to keep tabs on what others are doing and focus on why I wasn't invited to a shindig is the day I become a waste of space. 

I choose to inhabit my days by making this world a better place in my daily interactions---smiling at people, asking coworkers how they're doing, fighting against human trafficking, writing about social justice issues, meeting the needs of my family, telling stories through my photographs, sending notes/letters/e-mails to friends, etc.  

Living a life without fear of falling or catching fire means I continue having the courage to serve those loved ones who accuse me of being the bad guy. It means speaking up about how their actions hurt me and risking their wrath. Because in doing so I can blossom and bear fruit for the next generation and hope they can find a way to live better than I have.