About one and a half years ago, my oldest sister was hit by a truck. And what struck me was how close she came to not being a part of my life anymore. One moment she was there and moving forward in her life and, in an instant, her life was changed. I wrote that, at the time, what happened to her was a gift to me making me aware of who I AM and who I know mySelf to be. I wrote that I became aware that living is to be savored and that if I chose to live my life telling MY truth and living that in each moment and in each breath then the I AM that I AM would be immortal. I ended my piece by stating: “Just as I know that I cannot now lose mySelf. I know that I cannot remove mySelf from the holodeck of my life unless I, for some reason I have yet to know, decide to live my life as an awake sleeper.” As I read this now, I know that it was a prophetic statement. I know that, in the last year, I had lost myself and gone through each day sleep walking.
In February, my body finally and literally kicked the legs out from under me. One day I was walking and driving and feeling independent and, the next day, I was not able to walk. I had ignored the signs that my body was giving me – all of them based in the first chakra. All of them dealing with the foundation upon which I was living my life. I had continued to push my way through ‘living’ my life even as I was less and less able physically to live that life. In February, I was scared that I would never walk again, that I would never be able to live on my own again, that I would never have my life back even as I knew that I couldn’t do that life anymore.
And the last three months have been quite a journey. I’ve had to deal with the health care system. Surgery and bed baths and bed pans insured that I had to jettison my need for personal privacy. I couldn’t do for myself and had to let others do for me. That was very hard for me to accept. And I did accept that and, in doing so, came to know what is truly important about personal space and privacy. I came to realize that in my insistence on my own space, I was insulating myself from possibilities and opportunities and connection with others. I was building and reinforcing my own armor.
I’ve come to know that I had allowed myself to become ‘an awake sleeper’. And I know that I am not sleeping anymore. I have let go of so much that I had held as true and real in my life. I’ve had to learn to walk again – both literally and figuratively. I’ve had to discover how to regain my physical balance which is a wonderful metaphor for having balance in my life. And I know that what my body gave me was truly a gift – even if I can think of easier ways to learn what I have learned. In these last months, I’ve had to stop doing what I had been doing – living a life of habituation. I’ve come to terms with and have understood many deeply ingrained beliefs that, I know, have governed the choices I’ve made. And most of all, I’ve come to know that I am a strong woman and that I can make choices which map back to the signal which I AM.
And now, each day, as I begin the day, I decide what I want to do that day – what I want to do for me to enrich my life. That’s what it takes – awareness and openness and a willingness to question what I’m choosing to do and to let things go. And it takes believing in my right to choose for myself and to let go of those things which do not add to the fullness of my living. I have the right to say ‘no’ and ‘yes’ without providing explanations to anyone including myself.
And just as children learn to walk and to explore their world, I am also a child – learning to walk again in all ways. And that truly does map to the signal which I AM.