I was having a long, rather “dramatic” phone conversation with someone very dear to me the other night. I was sobbing, doubting myself, doubting God’s purpose for me and generally expressing the kinds of things one expresses when one has been snowbound for days with no human contact and way too much time to think 🙂 In the midst of my self-created drama my friend quite simply said, “We are all a little bit messy.” At which my sobs transformed into huge laughter. I guess the irony of my being MORE than a little bit messy at that moment and the simplicity of that statement added up to hilarious!
Having been an opera singer most of my life, life often imitated art in that my relationships, work and state of mind sometimes verged on the extreme. I found myself working hard to hide this I would try to appear “normal” even when emotional storms were raging inside. I would present a front of pleasing people, politeness and positivity when sometimes, internally, I was riding out turbulent seas. You artists know what I mean when I speak of the blessing/curse of being extremely sensitive, needing to stay very open to all input and inspiration creatively and walking the tightrope between balance and imbalance. It is challenging, satisfying and how we’re hard-wired.
As the years went on I grew to understand myself better, matured, grew wiser and grew to love myself more and, thus, others more. I worked hard on self-knowledge and personal responsibility. I “processed” a lot of the childhood hurts and traumas that had shaped me (as I continue to do). Life became more evenly balanced…for the most part :). But like all of us, sometimes I can indeed be a little bit messy and my goal is never to be ashamed of this but to embrace the strength and courage it has required to live the life I’ve lived.
I was on my own at a very early age. I wasn’t really nurtured. I had the talent and heart of an artist. I did everything by myself without much help or support. I knew fear, hunger, cold and despair. I didn’t lead a “normal life” of marriage, home and children. I was lonely and alone so much of the time. I realize I’ve carried no regrets for my choices but a nagging feeling of shame that I wasn’t “like other people”.
In recent months, I’ve come to a deeper understanding of why I had to experience all these things. Life is showing me how I can now apply all that those experiences taught me to help others on their way. This is becoming more and more clear as I develop my next phase of creating sanctuary. Life is giving me opportunities daily to give sanctuary, even before I’ve created my actual location. So, yes, I’m still “a little bit messy” but I’m on a clear path.
This quote from Paul S. Boynton, author of Begin with Yes was my inspiration for these thoughts. He writes:
” The most Beautiful People
We have Known are Those Who have Known Defeat, Known Suffering,
Known Struggle, Known Loss,
And have Found their Way Out of the Depths.
These People Have an Appreciation, a Sensitivity, And an Understanding of Life
That Fills them with Compassion,
Gentleness, and a Deep Loving Concern.
Beautiful People…Do Not just Happen.”
On this Valentine’s Day, I give thanks for all of you that are “a little bit messy”. I give thanks for all of you that became beautiful people through “finding your way out of the depths”. You are the heart and true symbol for this day of love.