Yesterday I rode along the coast on the back of a Harley. It was a beautiful day and the scenery was breathtaking. I went with the expectation that it could be one of the last times for a long time that I had the freedom to just experience the joy and beauty of life, to share the moment with friends and loved ones, to feel the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, and to taste a frosty cold adult beverage as we hopped from one quaint watering hole to the next.
Yet running like a current underneath the experience was the fear and rejection of what my life has become, the knowledge that this was all borrowed time and that my house of cards has already started crumbling. I smile and I laugh and I take the next sip of the poison that will help numb the cry of rage that threatens to surface at any moment. How did I let this happen? I feel the heaviness in my chest, the lump in my throat, the self-pity that threatens to distract me from the fact that I caused this, that this is the reality I’ve created.
I look around. My present moment is filled with birdsong, the lazy sight of horses grazing in the distance, stillness, peace, perfection. Why can’t I live in this moment, enjoy this moment, without feeling the ominous presence of doom just on the horizon? Why must I constantly try to make my life look right, to cover the faults, to conceal the messes? Why must I compare what I have to a beautifully prepared, perfectly packaged life? Why can’t I accept that my life is perfectly fine just as it is? Surely, I can find a way to attain that Zen state where I accept my place in the tapestry of the whole and can come back to just where I am. Surely, joy, ease, simplicity, courage and the freedom to care and not to care is possible even when all appears to be headed to hell in a hand basket.
Today is the Fourth of July. Independence Day. Can I claim my freedom today? The freedom to dissolve the labels I have put on my experience? Can I let go of the shoulds and should not haves long enough to accept that this is my life, my complex, topsy-turvy, unfathomable life? Can I become at peace with the way things are? No longer struggling against the world or lost in it? Can I simply rest? Can I accept the love that others offer me? Can I accept and love myself?