Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Life's a dirty business

We all have different desires and needs, but if we don't discover what we want from ourselves and what we stand for, we will live passively and unfulfilled. Bill Watterson
The sun is shining brightly this morning. It shimmers in the leaves of the apple tree, casts shadows across the lawn, glistening on the water in the fountain. Birds flit in and out of its brightness, momentarily illuminated in flight. The birds know what they want. A nip in the bird feeder. A sip of water and they're off. Twittering and tweeting in the air.

Life is a giant bouquet of moments of sunshine flirting with rainy days and cooler climes. Life lays out a sumptuous buffet of delectable delicacies, a cornucopia of tastes and treats waiting for consumption. But, if I'm not sure what I want to eat, or what I like, or if I am waiting for someone to fill my plate with what they think I should eat, life's vast array of edible treats will never appease my hunger, no matter what is on my plate.

It's up to me to know what I want, to fill my plate, pick up my fork and dig in.

Life's a dirty business. Dig in and get messy.

I've had ample time to think about the dirty business of life these past few weeks. As I've sat with my foot up, reading and writing, thinking and meditating, I've had the opportunity of unstructured time to luxuriate in and fill -- with whatever I've wanted.

I haven't always chosen wisely. Some days, I've simply slept and read and watched a movie (sometimes even more than one!). Some days, I've written and read, and listened to CDs about writing and communicating and growing and becoming all I'm meant to be.

And that's the thing -- I am always all I'm meant to be. No need to grow into it. To become it. To be it. I simply am it -- right now, exactly the way I am. I am all I'm meant to be in the moment of being.

It's what I fill my time with that makes the difference because, my angst does not arise from not accepting who I am, it arises when I don't know what I want or won't stand up for what is important to me, for me, about me.

Take my desire to write a book. So many choices. So many options. So many ideas. They are all there. They all exist. But, when I flit from one to the other, I am undermining my own success. Caught up in the angst of my indecisiveness, I lose my focus and drive.

And that's the thing. It takes 'will', an act of will, of self-discipline to stay true to what is important to me. So often, my self-defeating game of giving into my weaker instincts, draws me away from doing what is right, and fulfilling, for me.

I have a day of unstructured promise before me. What will I fill it with? It's up to me to stand up for me. To do what is right for me and not give into my baser instinct to be a sloth, to avoid doing the tough things, to busy myself with unimportant minutiae or to distract myself with irrelevant tasks that do not create more of what I want in my life -- and if I don't know what I want more of in my life, it's up to me to define what that is!

The question is: Do you know what you want more of in your life? Are you willing to fulfill on your higher good?


Anonymous said...


These words in your piece caught my attention:

"when I flit from one to the other"

isn't that what birds and bees do as they spread pollen, isn't that how the bees make honey?

as you flit from idea to idea, your 'whole idea' becomes bigger, better and more fully developed . . doesn't it?

keep flitting . . it is NOT self-defeating . .it is self-identifying


p.s. .. I'd like to re-publish this piece with the 'usual edits' of course

M.L. Gallagher said...

Thanks for the food for thought Mark and the chance to 'get clear'.

Yes, birds and bees flit from place to place, flower to flower -- and they are always focused on what it is they are accomplishing. Pollinating. Germinating. Feeding.

When I flit, sometimes, it's without clarity. Sometimes, it is to avoid what I know I need to do. So, it can be both self-defeating and self-identifying -- love that term BTW.

Thanks! And by all means -- publish away!