Life is for living. It’s a lovely sentiment, isn’t it?
Lovely. And vague.
Because what, exactly, is living?
I turned thirty-eight this year, and I’m still fine tuning what living means to me. I imagine I always will be. Ever evolving. Ever learning and growing.
One of the beautiful things I’ve learnt about what living is to me, is that I have these five senses for a reason. For most of my life, I woke of a morning, achieved the mindless list of tasks laid out ahead, went to bed, and repeated the whole thing again the next day.
No wonder my soul was starving.
I’ve started to understand that, to fully live, you need to know yourself and how your senses interact with the world around you. I, for instance, am extremely sensitive and I’ve come to the realisation that because my senses are heightened…I need to be particularly conscious of my environment.
For example: I need to try and keep things tidy, both internally and externally. I feel calm when things are tidy. I feel calm when I am completing one task at a time. Overwhelm, for me, equals poor mental health and activation of either the fight, flight, or freeze response (and, I assure you, none of these survival responses have ever worked out well for me, in the past.)
This time in my life is where I’ve begun to really use my senses to enhance my world and wellbeing. I’ve come to understand that everything we perceive in life has a texture and depth, and I try to utilise this knowledge to better my life, as much as I can.
For some reason, my nervous system tends to do much better when it comes to perceiving softer, lighter more porous textures. Wood grain soothes me. Light, drifting plants soothe me. Soft pinks, mauves, light greys: these are all the colours of me. And yet, for the longest time, I surrounded myself with bright and bold…because the rest of the world did. I hadn’t learned to know myself yet.
I often think back to (and I’ve mentioned this story on here before) the discomfort I used to feel when driving to work with my Dad, listening to the two negative, grumpy radio hosts on the morning show. Every time I heard them speak, I wanted to run. I had no idea why I was feeling this way, at the time, but now I know. It was the density of their energy. The texture. It was not at all light, it was heavy and bold: never have I thrived when surrounded by this kind of dense energy. Never have I been comfortable in my own, unique (big ol’ sensitive muffin) skin.
I can’t avoid density, I know that. Life is full of the dark, the negative, the heavy. But I can try to be mindful of surrounding myself as much as possible with the softness that brings me back to life, so that’s what I try my best to do.
Humans are funny creatures. How our worlds shift and change with time and age.
And though reality often hurts, it is also very beautiful.
Due to expire in a couple of days, due to expire. And I’m not going to renew it.
I’m attached to this, my sweet little bloggy home. Truly, I am.
I’m attached to all of you, whose faces I see, whose hearts I feel I know, somehow.
But I think this time, it really is time.
Time to reinvent myself, maybe.
Time to be brave and…do something else (you all know I’ve been wobbling about for quite sometime.)
I’ve got my new creativity website which may need some attention at some point. (The link for that one is brookecutlercreative.com. Please head over and subscribe if you’re not already, I’d hate to entirely lose you all. xx)
And, of course I’m intending to continue my novel, and to keep writing at medium and see where that road drifts to.
But I think I’ll let my plan expire, here, and…just see what happens.
I can’t pay for two websites: that’s one thing I do know, and that leads me to thinking this may just be the perfect time to let the wind blow. And sit here. And let it all be.
I’m so very unsure.
But I can be brave enough to let the wind take me.
I can be brave enough to allow uncertain life to meet me here.
I sat beside the river and smiled. It seemed a little funny to me that us humans believe we are the stars of this Earth show and that nature is here for us, rather than with us. What if we are here for nature? I think it’s more likely that we are all just here, to be whoever and whatever we are.
Last night as I sat beside the river, an epiphany that’s been growing within me grew a little more, so I thought I’d share it with you guys, just in case you’re interested.
I’ll start with the trees. Trees begin with a trunk. As they rise (grow) they branch out, one branch at a time. Each branch thickens and solidifies over time, and as it does it gives birth to new branches, which then give birth to new branches and new branches, until finally we reach the climax: the leaf.
Flowers. All begin with a stem which grows and, in time, becomes a beautiful little bud, bursting for change, bursting to open. Petal by petal it reveals itself, until eventually we have a fully open flower. It doesn’t happen over night, the growth process. But perhaps that’s the whole point of all life. The journey.
We know roughly what will come of a growing tree/flower because we’ve seen it so many times before and so the expectation is to look toward the finished product. To wait for it, even. But what if we’d never seen a fully grown flower? What if we’d never seen a fully grown tree? All we would have is each individual moment to watch the flower bloom. The same is true for the tree.
A flower/tree has never experienced itself, or this life, before, so how would it know how to grow but to simply let the process be and to experience whatever may happen along the way?As the flower blooms, as the tree branches out, as the human lives and ages…all there is is the process. Living. Experiencing. That’s all there is. For all of us.
And so it could be said that nature is here to live and experience life as consciously and fully as we humans are. Each flower is here to find out what it is like to bethat particular flower in that particular environment, in every moment it lives. Some flowers live to be picked or destroyed. Some live their whole lives to wither and naturally die. The same goes for trees. Some tree branches may be jumped on by a child and broken, leaving the tree injured and in need of renewal and repair. Some will mend on their own. Some will need help. Some, as nature and all things go eventually, will die.
These processes the natural world go through: they are really no different than the processes we go through, as humans. Growth. Challenges. Being loved and cared for. Being abused. Nature goes through it all, right alongside of us, and none of us have any clue what the journey will be until we are in it, living it, being it.
This will likely sound a little (cough: really quite) crazy to those of you who are absolutely not on the nature train, so perhaps I’ll leave you with a little piece of homework, if you’re interested in diving deeper. When you are next outside, go to the nearest tree and hold your hand up beside a leaf (palm facing you). Look at the leaf carefully. Then look at your hand carefully. Look at the leaf and your hand, again.
When you see it, you will smile, I guarantee you that much. And you will know, without any doubt, that you are not at all alone in this universe.
And when I say I’m home alone, I mean my children are here, my husband is not.
And when I say my husband is not, I mean I’ve been keeping a secret, and that secret is that for some weeks now, my husband has been my husband again. Married. All the way through, once more.
In other words, our year and a bit apart has come to a close.
We’ve decided to stay together.
When my heart woke and began to glow for everything and everyone, it became apparent that the love between me and my very own body-mind-heart-soul was the only love I’d ever truly need. And so why choose a new man who could never be perfect. Why not choose the same old lovely one, who I could work with, grow with, be with, knowing I am fully loved and beautifully cared for. Imperfect, he is. Just like his wildly creative, highly emotional wife.
This feeling that the sun shines from my heart: it’s shown me that no man will ever be perfect, no relationship completely shiny. As I lay alone all those many nights (often loving the single life, often really quite lonely, actually, and aching for the parts of our old life that were no longer available to my children in quite the same way) I wondered if the shine I sometimes saw in my eyes meant that I was home. And if so, was I now solid enough within my new found self to go back to my other home?
Home: the place my babies wouldn’t miss their Dad.