Today I think about how people struggle, and triumph. How one person is able to be the voice for many who are disenfranchised. And I feel the potential power that we all have to take our lived experience, share it, make a difference, and, literally, change everything.
And then I instantly feel bad. I feel guilty. I hear the little voice, well today, of all days, you should be grateful. You should sit down and write a message about hope, just like every other blog I received in my email today. So suck it up and get on the bandwagon of poetic encouragement!
When really, today, I’m feeling a bit down. Yup, I’m actually feeling pretty sorry for myself. Oh geez, am I actually writing this right now? What the heck does this have to do with MLK, freedom, and dreams?
Freedom means gaining the privilege of more choice, and the opportunity of more responsibility.
Having a dream means having the ability to look beneath what is on the surface, and see the possibility and magic of the underbelly.
Here’s my ugly truth about freedom: today I’m choosing to admit that I’m having a rough day. And about dreams: today I’m having a hard time seeing them, or when I do, that they could ever be achievable.
I can feel my false-self (you know, the one that stands in front looking pretty, healthy, perfect, and in control on the outside all the time) freaking out right now… you can’t write that, remember, be an inspiration, be a posterchild for living successfully with illness.
And I say… how about I be a posterchild for being genuine, messy, and human? Some days are hard. Some days you find out someone you’ve known your whole life just died. And that a family member who has been intensively struggling with cancer may need another invasive medical procedure. You realize you have your appointment with your hematologist/oncologist in a couple of days (never not nerve-wrecking, never sure when another bomb might potentially drop regardless of how well you’ve been feeling). The relationship you are most invested in has potentially heartbreaking complications. And you’re fatigued, really fatigued. So that when you come to the end of your day, and first have time to do the things you love and have been looking forward to do all day, you’re so tired that you can’t even comprehend it. Freedom, dreams… maybe tomorrow.
No, maybe freedom and dreams today, right now. These ones. Because maybe there is room for these not-so-pretty truths to be part of our freedom and dreams too. Maybe freedom provides us a greater spectrum of choice in how we perceive our lives… both the challenging parts and the joy-filled parts. Maybe it’s an inspiration to others to be who you are, and how you are, without editing. Maybe it actually all counts. And it’s all part of our human experience. Maybe my dream is that each of us can speak our present moment truth, and be in a the company of others that can say, thank you for being you, for being real. And when someone else is vulnerably taking a chance to share their real truth, we can tolerate it, and say, ya, I can see how sometimes things suck, instead of just jumping in and trying to make them feel better.
So for me right now, my truth is to connect with those I love, and then curl up with an episode of Downtown Abbey. Because today was difficult. But as my dad responded to me earlier, you’re not dead yet. Well, I suppose that’s true too.