I keep trying to remember the little girl who'd look out her window on a warm June night and stare at the moon. She didn't require much to be happy - a pleasant breeze, stars like mini night lights above her bed, the sounds of crickets resting in the bushes, and the promise of a new day - this was enough.
I call upon that girl now when all feels lost. I try to remember the way she adored the simplest things - a fresh baked waffle for breakfast or playing with insects and trees in the yard. She savored her moments. She inhaled her experiences and really breathed them in before letting them go. She trusted that everything was perfect exactly as it was. There was no need to rush or fix or push or pull. She just was. And by being who she was, she was whole.
Where is that young curious girl now? Where has she gone? Why can't I find her?
How I long for the serenity she effortlessly possessed. How I wish I could go back and watch as she sat in the sun with no purpose but to sit. How she watched a tree's branches swaying in the wind because its mighty strength intrigued her. How a flower's petal flying mid-air brought her joy.
What brings me joy?
I've been asking myself this because it's been one of those weeks where nothing feels like enough. Where I'll never be enough.
I'm caught in a loop of loneliness again, and I can't fight my way out. My loneliness isn't the result of being alone or an absence of company. I feel lonely in my place in this world. I feel secluded in my thoughts, ideas, judgments, and desires. I wonder if anyone will ever understand me - if anyone will stick around long enough to really love me.
Do I understand me? Do I see me? Do I love me?
To be honest, not lately. I haven't been too kind to myself or others. I pick other people apart for not doing enough, for doing too much, for saying the wrong thing, for saying the right thing, for speaking their truth, for lying, for not telling me what I want to hear, for telling me exactly what I need to hear, for not being there, for being there too much...
I pick and I pick. I judge and I judge. Nothing ever feels quite right. Nothing ever feels too good. Maybe I'm not worthy of good. Maybe I'm insane for believing that I do. Maybe I'm just insane.
I'm stuck. I keep finding myself stuck, and the moment I remove myself from the muck of my own mind, I believe I'm free of it, but then it returns. And I keep hiding. I continue running. I keep trying to believe that this heaviness isn't hovering over me. But it is, and I can't accept it. I don't want to be this way. But I am this way, and can that be okay?
Can I be okay with not being okay?
Since the start of this year, I've been falling into this pattern of feeling like a stranger to myself, my life and others. I wake up and hope that I'll feel at home again. Maybe I just needed more sleep. Maybe it was a rut, a funk, a slip of character. I've been here before. I've found my way out. I can do this again.
But it hasn't fully escaped me and from where I'm looking now, there's no familiar light at the end of this thing.
Can that be okay?
Can I be okay with what I'm experiencing, without forcing, controlling, manipulating, or needing to be anything else?
I remember the girl who laid on a blanket of dewey grass with her eyes set on the greenery above her. I remember her hand on her heart and the other beside her. I remember her gaze, her smile, her warmth, her being, and even though I haven't discovered where she is, I know that she's always within me.
I know the voice that's telling me to stop searching for my happiness, to sit with myself, to be with myself, is her, encouraging me to remember what it's like to take an inhale and not rush to let go. To place my fingers on my chest and feel for a pulse. To watch a sunset and savor every hue before dusk settles.
I remember what it's like...
To be with myself.
To trust myself.
To love myself.
All of myself.