October 14, 2013

Living Authentically is a Practice.


The leaves fall.

I am like the leaves.

Both, we fall, tumbling gently through space and time.

We let go of what seems solid, only to throw ourselves into the wind.

Only to careen, headlong, foolishly (as some would say) towards the ground.

But for a brief moment, the leaf and I are suspended, in limitless undying love.

Free fall, giddy with adventure.

Two parts of a story bigger than both of us. Ready to give in.

Part composition, part decomposition, part pause, part evolve.

I wish that I had as much courage as a leaf. And at times, I think I do. But I can’t seem to give-over completely to the process. To surrender, if you will. To leap completely into the abyss, day after day.

Certainly, I’ve taken the leap. But where I thought perhaps I would simply need to leap a few times, life is asking me to stay continually in this process of transition. I feel like I am suspended (sometimes without motion, sometimes with g-force motion) in this space that I cannot describe fully or even adequately, although I try.

Out in the rain, emotions wash over me as I try to stay strong and maintain a sense of composure—despite every inclination towards the opposite. Perhaps that is why I’ve stayed away from writing. This fear that the mere act of writing would completely undo me. This fear of getting too close with my writing. Fear.

A few years ago, I let fear dictate my decisions. Fear, for me, arises in my head; so really, I let my head overtake my heart. I continually ignored my heart until my life shifted so suddenly that I was forced to make a decision in an instant. I had to decide whether I wanted to pursue living an authentic life, my authentic life, or the way I thought I should, based on someone else’s definition.

I made the decision to live an authentic life.

We hear a lot about living authentically, or at least I do because I am interested in it. Once I had made my decision to live authentically, I had this sense that things would flow together in a seamless and grandiose vision. I was so wrong. Making the decision was only the first step in what has become a long line of steps towards living authentically.

You see, I suppose in someways, I believed that once I had decided to live authentically, a map would appear and suddenly point me towards my own North Star. But what I am beginning to find is that living authentically is a practice that begins with taking one step at a time.

I am not sure where I will end up.

It isn’t as if I made the decision, flipped a switch and suddenly, don’t-cha-know, started living authentically. For me, I piece together authenticity with every decision I make. Every time I risk being vulnerable and risk making a mistake in the name of trying out something I think and feel aligns with me, that’s authenticity in practice.

I have to say practice, because it is. It is not fool-proof. Authentic living is a choice we make, moment by moment; so, stick to living with the practice.


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Ed: Sara Crolick


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