I found the light within myself and suddenly, I seem to find myself surrounded with people, invitations and social contact like rarely before. What is going on here?
It started small. I extended a few invitations to my children and there was sporadic acceptance but most of all, the seed that was planted was "hope". "I would have come if ..." instead of a comfortable "Thanks, but no thanks" to an invitation in my half hearted attempt to try to have my family sit together at one table.
Invitations that were comfortable were accepted. I get that. I so get that! When saying "yes" is hard, I like the invitation to draw me in. Different things draw different people. But in the course of two weekends, I sat down with all three of my sons at a supper table. Two different tables, but it was still a success in my books. I see it as three out of three "yeses". That is okay with me.
That was preceded and followed by other invitations. Some easy yeses, other more difficult yeses. But I said "yes" to all. And it was good. I have a great love of staying home, sequestered in quiet, safety without the need to be, say or do anything. The love of staying comfortable was overruled by the desire to peek out of my fortress of solitude and test out the waters. The water was fine.
Doing hard things is becoming easier. Not so long ago, when I dared to push myself out of my comfort zone, every movement was painful. Leaving the house. Arriving. Talking. How do I get out of here? I was looking for a quick and easy exit so I could hightail it back into my den of comfort. I did it. But it was so hard. I started to say "no" (but thank you) when the going got too rough.
Over the course of the past few months, the spark within me has been lit and it has burst into a flame. I'm somewhat fearful of what will happen when I stop fanning the flame and feeding the fire within. Change always does this for me. I can't go turning my world upside down every time I slip into the blues, so there is a wariness about this fire. But for now, the fire is burning and I even see some embers that will keep it going if it dies down. Embers are good. Embers are better than sparks or the continual need to "feed the fire".
This week has been full of family, conversation, inviting people into my world and accepting invitations that have taken me out of my oasis. A few short months ago, the mere thought of a "week like this" would have brought me to my knees. The need to hold up my end of a conversation, reach out, get to know a new person and have the ability to be still and simply listen was out of reach. I tried. A little. But it was simply so much easier to grab my blanket, curl up on the couch and numb myself with TV, snack foods and sleep.
I still find myself longing to go back to that place of great comfort but there seems to be less time to spend in that space of numbing myself. This is good.
I have been in unfamiliar and uncomfortable places, meeting new people and holding conversations that aren't commonplace for me. And it's been okay. In fact, I'm embarrassing myself a little bit. I am too bubbly, too talkative, too ... much. "Rein it in, girl!" runs through my mind as words spew from my mouth and I seem unable to harness the exuberance I'm feeling. But I just keep overflowing. I exhaust myself so I cannot begin to comprehend how exhausting I may be, to be around.
Then this morning, this arrived in my inbox (thank you "ProjectHappiness.com"!):
"Be a lighthouse. Stand where you are and let your light shine so bright that others may see their way out of the dark. Trust that, like moths to a flame, those seeking the light will meet you there. 'Everything changes when you start to focus on emitting your own energy frequency rather than absorbing or lowering yourself to match the frequencies around you'."
Maybe I'm just standing still shining and others are finding their way to me. I need to focus on my own energy force. I do know that I felt badly about feeling so good when so many others are dealing with so much more than I. Maybe I smothered my own flame until it died out altogether. I have been letting the sadness of the world around me in too much. I need to find a middle ground. I need listen with an open heart, be still with the world's pain and discomfort without letting it extinguish my fire. I must take that discomfort and become active with it. Pain without action is painful. Pain that stimulates action provides purpose and keeps the flame burning.
Be a lighthouse. I like those words and the visual that goes along with it. I'm going to try and share this newfound light with the world around me and savor whatever and whoever it may attract.