As We Are

In my April Note last week, I shared a quote.  I wrote that this quote was staying with me, playing over and over in my mind.  This is still the case, the playing over and over, so I thought I’d share the quote here too.

We are not feeling our feelings in order to get rid of them.  We are feeling them because that’s the process that’s happening right now.  I’m not looking for who you can become.  I am looking at who you are now and how I am with you.  That’s love.
~ Thomas Huebl ~

I keep thinking about the pressure so many of us feel to know exactly where we’re headed.  To have clear goals and solid stepping stones in place to reach those goals.  The pressure to get it right, do it right, be right.  And what this Huebl quote brought up for me is that there’s a fine line between looking to the horizon and staying in our now.

I’m walking that fine line, navigating my now with an eye to the future.  Trying hard (maybe too hard) to get all my stepping stones perfectly in place so that I can step my way into the future.

And I think this is good, is wise.  Except if there’s clinging or grasping to those stones I place down.  Except if I’m so concerned with who I might become (and where I might step) that I get a blurred vision of who I am (and where I’m stepping) right now.

I write (and feel) all of this while placing stones for the future as my teenage children move closer to adulthood.  With a son in college and daughter soon to follow, a lot is shifting in my life.  A lot.  I’ve spent the last 15 years as a homeschooling parent.  I’ve created quiet places to gather with some of you, but my focus has always been the day-to-day care of my family and home.  That will continue in some form.  But it’s also going to change.

What will that look like?  I don’t know.  Who will I be?  I don’t know.

I’ll keep a gentle eye on the horizon; I’ll continue to place stepping stones.  But I want to be careful I don’t succumb to outside expectations of who I should be and how I should be.  I want to be careful to continue looking inside with love and curiosity while also looking compassionately at who (and what) is outside of me.  Right now.

A fine line, as I said.

Inside, outside.
Today, tomorrow.
Inhale, exhale.

Yesterday morning, at the bottom of my journal page, I pasted some words I’d clipped from a magazine.  This clipping had been laying on my desk for weeks (maybe months) just waiting to be pasted.  Usually, I clip words and keep them in a little tin for future collage in my journal.  These words, for some reason, I’d left sitting on my desk.  Until yesterday.  As I wrote my last lines on the journal page, I already knew that I was going to put my pen down and grab the glue stick.  As I wrote the last word, I knew I was going to paste this phrase onto the bottom of my page:  Inhale, Exhale, Go.

And then I wrote:  Yes, good, and carry on.

Ready?  Let’s carry on.  As we are, right now.

sending a little love your way, m

19 thoughts on “As We Are

  1. I remember that space of planning for the time when Favorite Youngest Daughter would be fledging and my own retirement following soon after. Today, looking back from where am now I had no way of knowing how radically last year’s global shutdown and the residual effects of 2020 would alter the plans I carefully made. Fortunately during the long stretches of isolation, a creative ember grew stronger and thankfully I listened. Painting became first therapy, then blossomed into spiritual insights. Writing has taken a step back for now, its harder and not as enjoyable as painting. Still I know the daily journaling is also important. Your thoughtful prompts here help me get going when I feel stuck. Thank you for that.

    1. This last year, eh? So much unforeseen. I love that you dove into painting! I think it’s wonderful to allow different modes of creativity to bubble and bloom; the words will be there when you’re ready. And I’m really glad that I share some things that help with the sticky parts ❤️

  2. That “go” part is so very important, I realize, as I read those last words. I’m particularly good at procrastinating, and as I ponder the future, the stepping stones and particularly being “careful I don’t succumb to outside expectations of who I should be and how I should be”, I could linger longer than necessary “inhaling, exhaling,” waiting for answers and reassurance, and never “going”.

    1. I love your understanding of this, Sheila. Yes, so very important. Many of us (myself included) understand that longer-than-necessary lingering.
      May we all…go.

  3. As the mother of grown men, one with a child of his own, my nest has been empty for a long time. I would love to say I have it all figured out, allowing the easy flow what is next. But I don’t. I find I hold on to old ways of thinking and doing, grasping and clinging to those old stones that were so solid and worked when I was younger. I lose site of the horizon and focus to hard on making sure that old pathway stays in place, in fear of letting others down. Thank you for this beautiful reminder to breath and go forward.

    1. I’m appreciating what you’ve shared, Cathy…your honesty in this. I sometimes find myself wishing the old stones still worked. Here’s to each of us (to all of us) gently laying new stones with patience and in good time, breathing all the while.
      Onward we go…

  4. Thank you for the important lesson of staying in the present moment fully, while being positive about the future! I need to practice this mindfully.

  5. Oh to be a fortune teller. Whatever the future holds I know you will go in grace. My sister and I stuffed our tomorrows with lots of plans and activities when the nestlings left. I started blogging! Letting go is hard but being free is easy :)

    1. …and still going strong with your blogging!
      I always appreciate hearing about your experiences, Karen. Thank you for your words of assurance. That last bit…a true kernel of wisdom. xo

  6. Every word of this post resonates with me. After years of caring for our children and then my mother who had dementia, I find myself in this season of life where I may put my needs first. And though I want to put down those stepping stones . . . I know that for me, that cannot happen until I let go of old patterns that drove me to exhaustion and embrace myself with compassion. This is the time to go slowly (I forget to breathe!). Inhale, Exhale, Go. Thank you Michelle for bringing insight and kindness my way!

    1. I’m glad this resonated with you, Donna. Thank you for sharing your story. So much truth in the need to let go of old patterns so that the embrace of self (the embrace of a new way of being) with compassion can happen. May we both go as slowly as needed…

  7. Your willingness to be honest here is so good and brave. I think you’re on a good path, even if you can’t see yet where it’s going. One step at a time, my friend.

    1. Yes to one step at a time…thanks for your reminder. It’s truly the only way, eh?
      And thank you for the kind encouragement…I’m tucking it into my heart.

  8. It’s 5 years now since we became empty-nesters. It took us a fair while to get used to being just the two of us, so be gentle with yourself… Now our kids are finding their ways in the working world, and we are just enjoying being the two of us again…
    Although, after this pandemic year, we’re counting down the weeks till the house is full of family visiting again :)

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