I walked through a nature preserve last week in the middle of the day. The sun had just decided to peek out, and I took advantage of a client canceling by taking a walk outside. I watched the robins dance in the branches, noticed the water still high by the bridge. I celebrated the small flowers shooting up, and I found a hidden very small cemetery in the middle of the woods and just stood by it for several minutes, still and silent.
I needed that 35 minute walk.
To take a deep breath. To check in with myself. To simply be out in the sun.
As I’m on this journey of coming home to myself, I realize more and more how much time I need alone and in quiet.
My body needs time to acclimate to all the robust changes that have taken place over the past 6 months, all the change that continues even in this moment.
I need a moment simply to say, “I love and accept myself.”
A moment simply to smile and say, “All is well, and all will be well.”
A moment to acknowledge that I’m made to chase joy and adventure. Sometimes I am to be still and let joy and adventure chase me.
A moment to enjoy. Just because.
It’s taken awhile for me to know within my body what being at peace feels like. What it feels like for my body to feel clear, to not be holding tension in my jaw, in my shoulders. What it feels like to really take a deep breath.
Not too long ago, by the way I lived my life, I would have defined peace as being accepted by others, and not making them too upset. Interestingly enough, peace didn’t start with me.
I feel more peace now, linked with a curiosity and adventure, than I ever have in my life. It’s an inner peace of acceptance. Accepting and continuing to accept who I am, and how I am to be of service in the world. Accepting what is mine to do, and what isn’t.
Peace has been linked with boundary setting, yes, but also by simply giving myself permission. Knowing deeply (not just intellectually) that I am empowered to choose. I am in control of my own body, of my own mind. And by simply being myself, I will make some people upset. And that it’s not my job to take on that energy. It’s just a reflection of another person’s lack of acceptance.
So some days, I check in and ask myself, “What do I need?”
Last week it was a walk in the sun. It was listening to my body’s deep desire of movement and quiet and nature. And I said yes.
As I heal and accept myself more and more, my desire for silence and solitude grows. Some days the amount in which I feel like I need this type of space, feels unnerving. Yet, I rest in the fact that my body knows what it needs, and I must listen.
There’s this paradox occurring. I deeply know of my own empowerment, and yet the healing adventure is unknown. It must be both/and. This longing of solitude feels like a childhood longing–where time moves on without my knowledge, where my bare feet touch the grass, where I commune with nature and myself, without having to explain or defend.
There’s a gift here for me. I have spent half of my life defending my need for medical treatment. Defending that I am worth figuring out what was going on, and to receive adequate treatment. I’ve also spent a good chunk of my life, hiding, staying small, and not listening to my body. I get to rest and accept now.
And as I rest, part of healing is also realizing that my chronic illness is a story of going against my true nature–leaving my sensitivity behind–and just trying to make it in the world by being “successful.” That was never my path, although I tried to fake it for awhile.
So, as I rest, I reclaim my sensitivity, and say “yes” to my whole self. Just because.