More Than Cafe Platitude.

I wish I’d sat down yesterday and written the blog I’d
composed in my head. It was about feeling very differently lately, looking up
and realizing something is different, that there is a filter forming around
everything in the world, and that filter is called Optimism.
I remember several years ago, upon entering therapy, I sat on my therapist’s couch and identified an emotion that
was not depression, and was not elation. I was not sure what it was, but it was
something different than I’d ever really experienced: I began to gain a range
of emotion.
That is how this feels, this identification of “optimism,” a
new feeling, a color new to the palette that I haven’t had access to before.
“Optimism,” What’s that?
I have begun to feel that everything is going to be okay.
However trite that sounds. But more it’s like I’ve begun to feel that I am okay. I began to recognize yesterday that I was
beginning to hold myself and my judgment of myself looser. That somehow, I’m
beginning to feel that, actually, I’m doing pretty damn well. That, in reality,
I always have been.
Somehow it began to feel okay if I go back to my job as a
receptionist. That I don’t feel the aching judgment or condemnation of myself
for “wasting potential.” Because, somehow I feel that I’m actually doing enough
other work, that I am made of enough substance that that is okay right now.
I began to see that I am facing cancer. That I have faced
I have begun to see that I have lived through one of the
hardest and most emotional and devastating things that I ever have, and I have
come out, more than alright.
I have begun to see that, in fact, I have faced this with
more courage and love of myself than I ever have; that I have lived. And I have
lived well.
(In fact, as I write this now, I am crying with
acknowledgment of that truth; the truth that, goddamned, I have done good.)
The change of angle, the change of position of my
perspective as I look at myself. When a mountain moves a millimeter, sure, it’s
only a millimeter, but for Christ’s sake, you’ve just moved a mountain.
To look back and acknowledge that I have done something
well, that even I can take pride and courage and contentment in my
accomplishment(s), well, that’s moving a mountain.
So often the measure of myself is in the void and the
absences. What I don’t have, haven’t done, didn’t do today, who I haven’t
called, the leads I haven’t followed.
And somehow, I’m finding compassion for myself around all of
this. A degree of leniency that I’ve never had for myself. I have never been
lenient with myself. (Unless you call all out hedonism leniency, which is
really just perfectionism in reverse.)
“Somehow,” that’s the word that keeps occurring to me. I don’t
know how this shift has happened, and part of me wanted to write all this down
so badly yesterday, because I was worried that, like all emotions, it would shift.
That my optimism, my pride, my acceptance of myself exactly as I am would vanish by morning.
I’m glad to report that it hasn’t. But, like all new
emotions, it’s new. I’m acquainting myself with feeling okay – no, not “okay,” happy with myself.
I’m beginning to see what the fuss is about.
This is partly on the heels of the revelation that people
are offering all that they have to me because they value me, and if that is so,
then there must be something to value. And beginning to believe that from
the inside
Somehow, the barrier between how you see my and how I see
myself is beginning to fade, drop, disappear. Like a lie that is finally
exposed to the truth.
When the reality continues to display itself as people
valuing and cherishing you, supporting you, and finding you worthy. When the
reality continues to prove itself as evidence of a loving world, a world that
loves me, eventually, it’s time to believe that theory. The hypothesis becomes
proven. How many case studies do you need?
I heard someone say once that once he stopped acting like an
asshole, the world stopped treating him like one – “I was the only one I
had to convince.”
I am the only one I’ve had to convince of my worth. Everyone
else (or the people that matter) has been plenty happy to tell me about it.
But, as with most things, it’s an inside job. And, suddenly,
the inside is changing. The curtains being rearranged, walls renovated, the
internal landscape reflecting and holding
a space for me that mirrors and purports value.
It is because of this new arrangement that all the
self-flagellation around “What am I doing with my life? What is my job, career,
purpose?” is beginning to fade in importance. I don’t anticipate giving up on
who I am or what my passions are; in fact, I think with the new landscape, I
will be better set to support myself and my endeavors than ever before.
Something called Optimism. A belief that things are well.
That I am well. A belief that what everyone has been saying, what the world has
been showing me, is true:
Saggy tushed, dirty dished, socially awkward, voraciously
ambitious with “little to show for it,” debt-laden, emotionally luggaged,
occasional laugh-snorter, enthusiastic bad dancer, sporadic crafter,
swiss-cheese resumed, kitchen crooner, entirely and fully human with every
dent, scratch, and lovable imperfect foible – I, Molly Daniels, am worthy.
And my life is being well lived.

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