The exhortation “live life to the fullest” seems to pop up all the time. I scratch my head and wonder what that means, really. It’s a little like my lack of interest in bucket lists (previous post) because a lot of times people seem to mean adding up lists of things they’ve done and places they’ve been and days that are crammed with perpetual motion. My life has been so circumscribed by the chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia issues that if the criterion for living fully has to do with how full you’ve kept your calendar, how many times you’ve bungee jumped or how many pins you can put on a map to show where you’ve been, then my life for the last couple of decades hasn’t been lived much.
Yet I’ve been here, breathing and showing other occasional signs of life and in spite of pain and exhaustion I’ve actually liked my life and appreciated it more than ever before. So I’ve been asking myself, “what IS a full life?” And I realize my answer is just very different from the lists and accomplishments that mean “full” to a lot of people. It’s very different from anything I contemplated when I was 25 and packing my days and looking forward to more of the same.
To find my way out of the illness I had to look inward where—besides learning a lot about myself and my past—I came to understand that I have a divine nature of which I was previously unaware. The journey to understanding and releasing the past and then to connection with my higher self has been absorbing and amazing. I’ve learned to feel fullness and lightness just sitting in silence and letting myself sense the presence of spirit.
I’ve become a bit of a gardener (grumbling and not very good at it – really more a bit than a gardener). I’ve planted perennial herbs here and there in the yard. When I’m out weeding (grrr…) I stop here and there to rub my fingers on lavender or sage or mint and take a moment to savor the heady scent. I’ve become more of a cook (not so grumbly and pretty good) and I’ve learned to take the time to create tastes and smells to savor. I take the time to pay attention to as many of the small miracles of every day life as I can remember to notice (mindfulness again is key).
Since the months leading up to the war in Iraq I’ve been increasingly bent on releasing any remaining anger, raising my energy vibration and filling with love and compassion. I’d say at the rate I’m going I can “fill” the rest of my life with becoming peaceful within so that I can radiate lovingkindness out.
This post is for ABC Wednesday and this week it is “L”.