Saturday, August 01, 2015

Note to Self: Before I Die: Live

I've spent my whole life trying to stay out of trouble with people, some people more than others.

I have scurried around trying to guess what I should be doing, or should have done, so that I am not in trouble with anyone. And sometimes, there are precious few clues as to how to avoid being in trouble.

It is a pitiful way to live.

On the "before I die" board I wrote "live."

I walked an outdoor labyrinth when I was visiting my friends this weekend. I'd only previously walked the canvas labyrinth laid out in the gym of a local church. While walking the labyrinth I was given, among other things, the word "freedom." I felt guilty because I'd told my friend I'd come to the kitchen to visit while she did her thing. She didn't need any help. That's what she said, and I trusted her enough to have meant what she said--there was no need for me to try and find some hidden message in her communication (and that's a related blog post for another day). But the labyrinth called me. My mind was quieted as I walked to the center. Still, on the way out, I fretted because I was being gone so long. Thirty, forty minutes, what is that in the whole grand scheme of life?

And yet, that is how we waste our lives, a minute here, and a minute there.

But I digress.

While walking out from the center of the labyrinth I discussed with myself the option of skipping the path laid to complete the labyrinth and to just stop the walk and go to my friend, like I said I would.

And my spirit told me I, and I alone, held the freedom to choose. Feeling the tautness of freedom placed like a graft in hopes of creating new skin, I breathed a sigh of gratitude and chose to continue the walk.

(And I was in no trouble at all with my friend.)

Today I bless myself with the hope that I will feel the weight of my own (hard earned) freedom and may I truly live before I die.

Thinking about this right now, I know my thoughts are partially influenced by a sermon I had not yet heard when I walked the labyrinth on Friday. The pastor was speaking of troublesome times and referred to the strength of trees, admonishing us to "feel the weight of your trunk" in times of struggle. She also said to "trust your roots." Those two phrases will remain with me for a while. And will eventually show up in one of my thangs, I imagine.

One of the things I loved about the idea of "feeling the weight of your trunk" is that we talk all the time about feeling the weight of negative things (depression, loss, grief, cancer), so why not focus on feeling and being aware of, and grateful for, the weight of more positive things (strength, growth, healing, love)?


  1. Your friend loves that you walked the labyrinth. Your feet are free to root or walk. Truly live. It's a present to yourself and a joy to those who love you.


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