My Birthday was a gentle day... The girls woke me with gifts, a dozen or so little origami animals poems and hand made cards...:)
We watched the magical Arrietty.
It's amazing how you can learn to feel so much of what another person feels, that you almost feel like you are really apart of one another.
Tani and I couldn't be more different as personalities but somehow over the years we seem to have melded into one soul.
I need his strength and out-going-ness, to offset my vulnerability and introversion.
I need his practical mind to balance my impulsiveness.
I need his earth like temperance in clay.
It channels my fragile little stream from it's little woodland dwelling to the open air and the blue skies of possibilities.
Vicki mentioned the briggs meyers test in the comments recently which I took a couple of years ago and recently again.
I am a typical INFP and Tani is almost the complete opposite an ENTJ!
We often joke that it was the language barrier that kept us together long enough in the beginning to clinch a deal.
When we first met, Tani spoke a little English with a very odd accent with bits of Geordie, Irish and Liverpudlian thrown into the mix as he had been working on building sites with people from all over the country since landing in London.
But I never laughed so much in all my life than I did when we were together.
No matter what we have been through, we have always been able to laugh.
I know this is a true gift.
Lately I've been thinking about my life, how I have become who I am and how I've struggled to allow my own true voice to come through after protecting it under layers and layers for years and years.
I've cried for the girl I was, the child who was afraid and alone almost constantly.
The child who could do nothing but run to save her life.
The girl who always felt like an outsider, a stranger.
The girl who needed to build family and foundations, before she could even begin.
And here I am beginning, it seems late, with a lifetime and a half behind me, within me, yet still not brave enough to fledge from the bough.
I look out at the horizon, but sometimes, I feel like I'll never feel at home here in this world.
I'm super stressed by things like crowds, supermarkets, neon lights, driving on motorways.
I hate the feeling of adrenaline, it makes me feel nauseous.
Maybe I've had my quota of it in the past so that now I get an allergic reaction to it or something.
Maybe I should have been born in a quieter, slower paced time.
Certainly, at times, it feels as if my biology hasn't quite evolved to meet the standards of modern life.
Take me to the woods and I'll be at home.
I need to find a way of being in the world that doesn't feel like I'm compromising who I truly am and what I believe in.
I need to find a way to manifest my story into something tangible without betraying it, or diluting it or simply hiding it as I have so often done.
The thing is it seems hard to reconcile so many aspects of the modern world with my own heart and soul.
I want to live simply, without all the complexity, the arbitrary rules, the "stuff" but what a challenge that is.
It seems as if you have to be self supporting to begin with if you want to have a chance of surviving outside of the system.
I've been reading a lovely little book called Balancing Heaven and Earth by Jungian analyst Robert Johnson, who is one of my favourite writers. In it he talks of how we can set others free when we find our own freedom.
I find that I am drawn to people who have a sense of freedom about them, people who have that childish quality that allows them to unselfconsciously be themselves.
To speak without filters or censorship and to love others without filters or censorship.
People who are not afraid to just open up or do something fun or unconventional or non conformist.
People who will challenge rules that don't bend toward deep, messy human love.
People who will be unfaithful to remain faithful.
I've also been thinking about what life means to me in an essential way.
Relationships, nature, God and meaning are my sacred four.
I feel quite deeply that my mission is to learn how to love. Really love.
Love the essential goodness present in all people.
I was talking to Boo today about how sometimes even the worst bits of us actually come from an essentially good instinct.
Like wanting a pretty dress is a veil for a love of beauty.
Boasting, is a veiled desire to believe we are specially loved, which in fact we are.
Even a lie simply aches to be worthy of the truth.
It's almost like a wish.
Girls often have their inner princess squashed as a child, but that inner princess is real.
It a way for God to exalt the soul.
Show that it is cherished beyond measure despite it's natural flaws.
It is that little piece of us that bears the image of something beyond, something eternal.
Sometimes when my girls have done something they know is wrong I'll bundle them up good and tight, look into their eyes and tell them that I can still see them.
I can still see that they are beautiful. No matter what.
This afternoon I started thinking about a few things that have been a big influence of me.
Things that have really opened my eyes, my heart, my soul over the years.
Things that have fed me, or awakened me, given me clarity and perspective.
I got it down too the absolute minimum which was super hard.
But these books, movies, writings seem to have been the ones that stuck most to my soul and changed it through love and clarity for the better.
These have mentored, counseled and helped me grow ...
The poetry of Rumi
Love by Earnesto Cardenal
Women Who Run with the Wolves Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Dumbing us Down John Taylor Gatto
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
The Fisher King and the Handless Maiden Robert Johnson
Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee
The Thin Red Line
Into Great Silence
"Be the change you want to see" Gandi
Martin Luther King
John Bradburne Vagabond of God
Saint Isidore the Farmer
It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to
be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can
disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, 'Yes.'
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer