Sunday, July 02, 2006
A student dictionary from 1962 defines Independence as "Freedom from control by others; self-government". This weekend, I struggle with the idea of independence. Not the kind we celebrate every 4th of July, but the kind that originates within me. The kind I freely give or withhold from myself depending on how strong my fears are.
My fears are the "others" defined in the dictionary. My fears are what control me. My fears keep me from the freedom to live out the possibilities of my life. My fears prevent self-government.
I wish to live a larger life. I wish to contribute more to the re-balancing of this planet. But, in order to achieve that, I must choose that. Making that choice brings up my fears. Making that choice brings forth past ghosts. Making that choice to move forward paralyzes me.
I search for ways to overcome my inertia. I decide to clean out my art studio, hoping to give myself a fresh, creative jumpstart. Clear out stale fears as I clear out stale papers. Two hours into the clearing, I get bogged down with indecision of what to keep and what to throw away. What reflects my current interests, what reflects interests I have moved beyond. Slowly, painfully, I grind to a halt. I realize I am sitting in the midst of a paper explosion. Each paper likely symbolizing a fear. I want to cry.
One way I know to overcome a fear is to sit in silence. Sit,with the ears of my heart and the ears of my mind open. Sit, until the Invisible Force that created sunflowers and snowflakes, whispers a way out. Instead of crying, I step over the paper explosion and sit in a room with a different view. Eventually, I hear "get a garbage bag". Suddenly, my mind clears and I know I must pitch or recycle everything that hasn't interested me in the last 6 months. Ruthless, yes. But my independence depends on it. My freedom from control by governing fears, depends on it. I must literally and symbolically clear the way for a more purpose-driven, contributing, and loving life.
Two garbage bags later, I can see the floor again. Two garbage bags later, I can sense my heart again, urging me past fear into clear. Urging me on to independence.