“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Harold Whitman. I saw this quote the other day and when I read it, it was as if the words jumped right off the page and embraced me. I admit that I find myself a lot of times in survival mode, feeling like life has tied me to the whipping post, going through the motions, just trying to make it through until the next break comes along. Yet, when I stop for a moment and allow the winds of purpose to fan the flames of who I am and what I am here for, I feel that life rise up inside me like a blazing inferno. It is then that I know without a doubt these are the things that make ME come alive. (part 3)
Writing. I love to write. To be able to take the thoughts that dance around in my mind, put them together on paper in some sort of order to make sense (well, maybe it doesn’t always make sense!). What joy that brings for me. It is probably one of the most selfish things I do because 9 times out of 10, I am writing for my shear satisfaction and release and no other reason. I don’t claim to be good at it or feel the need to be recognized, although I do admit it is refreshing when something I say touches the heart of another person.
Anything can spark the notion for me to put the pen to the paper: a song, an event, a situation or circumstance, a scripture, stress, joy, elation, sadness (being that I am such an emotionally driven person, any emotion for that matter!) my children, a guitar player, a church sign, a quote, a nudge in my spirit. I have numerous notebooks that span over many years where I have wrote things down. It’s interesting to go back through them and recall what was going on in my life at that certain point and reflect what I was feeling in my heart. Sometimes I think, “dang, I wrote that!? “ And then sometimes I think, where is the matches, we need to burn this evidence!
Writing for me can be as intense as a life or death matter. At times my mind is so full that I feel like a balloon with too much air. One more breath, and POP! There is a line in the song, “Breathe” by Anna Nalick -“2 AM and I’m still awake, writing a song. If I get it all down on paper, it’s no longer inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to.” Oh the moments that I can relate to that feeling as well as I can my own reflection in the mirror. The peace that comes when all the turmoil is splashed down in black and white before me, outside of me instead of on the inside screaming like a wild banshee. Sometimes the words will pour out like a flood, and other times it is as calm as a gentle rain on a hot summer day.
Many times scripture plays an important role in what I am trying to express. Matthew 4:4 says, “ Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” I can definitely testify that when I’m feeling weak, discouraged, down and out in Beverly Hills, starving for “that something” to give me the strength I need, I can sit down with my thoughts, pair them together with scripture and I will walk away nourished and rejuvenated, as though I have eaten the best porterhouse steak that money could buy.
My biased friends who love me (I’m such a lucky girl!) tell me I should write a book. Actually I have been working on a very special one for 16 years. I’m not sure how much longer it will take to finish it, but hopefully, someday, it will be a priceless treasure to the person it is written for. When I read over the entries, I feel as alive as I possibly can be.
So there you go. These are the things that make my life worth living. That which I have found that I want to “go and do.” The venues in everyday life that give to it the zing to reach beyond the ordinary. The areas in which I thrive in and enjoy putting forth every ounce of effort and energy that I possibly can into. Take these things away from me, and I would rather not exist. I cannot boast in possessing great beauty, nor in being talented, I can’t sing or dance ( I can however cook and clean like nobody’s business, and I will beat you in a game of Galaga! 😉 ) but I do hope that when years have passed and I am the subject of people’s memories, that these are the things that will be said about me: She was a great mom, an awesome companion and the best friend one could hope for. It will be then that I know that I have lived “alive.”