Refusing to cling again

If there's anything that the recent months have taught me, it's that taking control of your life does not always mean you should have complete control over it.

This was something I've always known cerebrally; in fact, one of my favorite chapters of all time is the following chapter in Richard Bach's Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah.

Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the messiah, come to save us all!"

And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure."

But they cried the more, "Savior!" all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a savior.

You can read the complete chapter here.
But it wasn't something I fully understood. I am, after all, a hands-on learner.

However, this little ball of knowledge just stayed snug in my head, lying dormant, until the time came that life would force me to draw on it.

(Truly, life always prepares you, in its own way, for the paths it has prepared for you. I wouldn't have thought something I read in the comforts of my own bedroom, so long ago and so far removed from the people I've wrongly held responsible for my bruises, would help me deal.)

I've realized that the many times I've hurt myself and I've hurt others were times when I wanted to be in control. I wanted this person to treat me this way, I wanted this person to behave this way, I wanted this person to feel this way towards me... when, I've realized lately, the only true thing I want is for me to feel a certain way: happy.

Another lesson for me at 30: I've tried to hold on to life with a tight fist, afraid of losing whatever it was that I thought brought me happiness, and I was wrong.

Every good thing in life points to sharing: You can't call yourself a writer unless you've been published. You can't smell perfume unless it's released from the bottle. And you can't say you love someone, unless the person knows it.

While the jealous, zealous Scorpio in me still remembers the delight of rightfully, righteously claiming something, someone, to be her own, and her own alone, I want to claim something even bigger than what my fist can hold on to this time, something so big, I have to hold it with my palm open.