Friday, March 19, 2010

29w 4d expectations

Expectations can be dangerous and make everday living impossibly difficult, even when we think it shouldn't be. Especially when that inner voice says it shouldn't be. The tiny miracles and heroic acts of an average day don't get the play they deserve.

I Googled the definition of "hero." One entry read, "Champion. Someone who fights for a cause." Twenty-three years – that's how long I've known my champion of everyday living. While everyone faces his or her own struggles, few emerge to be as beautiful as she with their battle scars. Still within the struggle, she may not feel like a hero.

We can use honesty to battle our tendencies to distance and withdraw, to shut down and shut out. Honesty is a sword that cuts those who carry it, but it delivers self-forgiveness if we let it.

Expectations, I realize now, are my war. I have always had too-high expectations for myself; in the past, it has helped keep me fighting even as each perceived failure punctures the soul of me. Do I perpetuate it because I like having high expectations? Because I'd feel guilty or weak if I didn't have them, just as I feel guilty or weak when I don't meet them? It's ingrained.

I stand at the mouth of a cave. Within it lie my future attempts at parenting and at reconciling my mother-self with my married-self and working-self. From here, can I learn a way to forgive the blindness I'm sure to have within the cave? Fumbling in the dark, will I remember that it's normal... acceptable... okay if I stumble?

If I can forgive myself, if I can make it through, if I can wear my battle scars with soul intact, it will be because I'm not alone in the dark.

From "Surrendering" by Alanis Morissette:
so you were in but not entirely
you were up for this but not totally
you knew how arms-length-ing can maintain doubt

and so you fell and you're intact
so you dove in and you're still breathing
so you jumped and you're still flying, if not shocked

and I support you in your trusting
and I commend you for your wisdom
and I'm amazed by your surrender in the face of threatening forces
that I represent

you found creative ways to distance
you hid away from much through humor
your choice of armor was your intellect

and so you felt and you're still here
and so you died and you're still standing
and so you softened and you're still safely in command

and I salute you for your courage
and I applaud your perseverence
and I embrace you for your faith in the face of adversarial forces
that I represent

self protection was in times of true danger
your best defense to mistrust and be wary
surrendering a feat of unequalled measure
and I'm thrilled to let you in
overjoyed to be let in, in kind

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