We are all growing up. At least that’s what I’m told. We arrive little and vulnerable and we have mommy and daddy (if we’re lucky) and eating and diapers; then we are walking and falling, more eating and sleeping and mommy and daddy; then we go to school and learn things, play, make friends and encounter a little drama; then we enter teen-hood with more school, sports or dance or whatever we start to love, friends, “no one likes me”-hood and much more drama; and then off to college or work or whatever pulls us into the responsibilities of adult-hood and guess what…more drama.
I had a birthday this week. I am old enough at this point to have had more than my share of all of the above, especially the drama. I sort of wish that upon arrival, we are given a “Welcome to Earth Life” manual that said, “expect lots of drama along with all other great stuff you get” so I would have been better prepared. Or maybe that’s the whole point. We don’t grow up without it and we need the element of surprise in order to learn from it all.
I find that at this point in my life I spend considerable amounts of time pondering these things. Is all this pondering a waste of time? I wonder that too. I wonder at many things and I find many things in my sphere of living quite magical and worth pondering about. One big ponder is that I realize that there are more years behind me than ahead of me, and that truth is poignant. I ponder on whether I’ve done right by the gift of this lifetime and could I have done better. I ponder on how I can do better with what I have ahead of me. I ponder on how my relationships have changed over the years and that the ones in my life now are changing as I write this. That reality is also poignant and somewhat painful. I ponder on what to do next and how much more fun, love, and pleasure can I bring into my life to help balance all the drama that seems to be necessary for the growing up part of this deal. I ponder on how blessed I am to have arrived at this point, with this many years behind me, alive and intact.
So after all this pondering I’m formulating a decision. The decision is still in the formative process, but it goes something like this – I am deciding to make drama less of an enemy. Notice I haven’t decided to embrace it and ask it to tea. Right now I’m just deciding to regard it as a “non-enemy”. I’m giving myself credit for that with the hope…intention…of befriending it in the future. I’m not there yet – haven’t quite evolved this relationship to the friendship stage. However, for this next year of my unfolding lifetime I will begin a new relationship with drama and look at it with less disdain and more value. That’s the best I can do for right now, and right now is what I have to work with.
So in an effort to continue the grow up process, I publicly offer a very tentative and shaky hand of “maybe we can be nicer to each other”-ness to drama, knowing that it has an important place in moving me to whatever the next level of wisdom, compassion, grace, and worldliness will be for me. The other stuff is easy and I enthusiastically invite more and more of that into my experience…Love, passion, abundance, play, laughter, sharing…you know, the juicy stuff. Come on in! The water’s fine! And place must be made, with grace, for the other stuff; the not so easy stuff; the painful stuff that seems to be jumping around in the water making it turbulent and less easy to stand in. I’ve noticed that when the water is turbulent and rocky, I find ways to stay upright and maintain my balance because I must, and much as I hate to admit it, drama gives me the opportunity to develop the muscles to do just that. Not quite as much fun as the juicy stuff, but in the end equally valuable.
STRETCH: Pay attention to your growing edge. Notice when your life presents you with opportunities to grow and see if you can give these opportunities a wide berth so that you can learn more and more about yourself and how to be the best You that you can be, right now. And most of all – be gentle with yourself.