Keep your feet ready, heartbeat steady, keep your eyes open.
Keep your aim locked, the night goes dark, keep your eyes open.
Taylor Swift, Eyes Open (from the Hunger Games Soundtrack)
I don’t know why it is that I allow hope and fear to get the best of me. By get the best of me – my energy and time and talents go toward planning for what may not even arise. That I cannot give everything I have to whatever I’m doing, if worries creep up and plant themselves in the middle. I spend so much time worrying – chasing the little rabbit of worry around and around the internal track of my mind. There is something about chasing after worry – I can make this work. Let’s see what options there are. Let me research and think and run after these other things – rather than relaxing into what is here, and what is now.
What is here and now is freshness. And that freshness? The ability to keep your eyes open and be ready to embrace this world. It’s not readiness out of fear of an attack. It’s not because you want to see how to plan your next move. It is readiness to see the world for what it is and to open into that freshness. The open eyes which tell you that you are giving everything you have, that you are keeping your aim steady. Worry does not foster steadiness. It fosters anxiety, fear, and spinning in circles.
Many years ago, as I was contemplating a big decision in my life, I talked with a college professor of mine. We were sitting on the porch of the building where she had her office, both in white wooden rocking chairs. I remember feeling tight with anxiety, like a coil about the break. She was leaning back in the chair, rocking back and forth slowly. “Listen to your body. It will tell you what you need to do.” This professor, for the record, also was the one who would tell her students to trust the universe, that it will provide. And, I have found, time and again, that my body does tell me what I need to do, if I only listen. And listening doesn’t happen when I’m chasing after worries and solutions.
I’m currently in the midst of transition in my life, in a lot of ways. Without going into details quite yet, I find myself planning, trying to think of which way to go. I keep spinning around in circles. Soon, I may throw up from all of the spinning. And I realized today, while writing, that I am holding so tightly on to this one thing, that I have no idea, really, what it is that I’m looking for. This one this is not the entirety of who I am. How can the universe provide, how can my body respond, if I don’t even know what I’m looking for?
Nearly four years ago, tiredof trying to find a partner in my life, I wrote in my journal the person I was looking for. I gave up on dating, nearly flinging it away from me. I was taking a moritorium on dating. Less than a week later, I received a text from someone I couldn’t quite place in my memory, but we went for coffee and a chat. That person was Sarah, my partner. We’ve since talked about it, and she tells the story that, at some point around the time I wrote in my journal, she felt compelled to text me. We didn’t run in the same circles, didn’t really know the same people. And yet, after having only met each other once or twice, with no other contact, she texted me to see if I wanted to meet for coffee and chatting. Four months later, we began dating.
Now, I don’t believe that if I become clear with everything in my life, everything will work as smoothly and immediately. I don’t believe that I can rest on my haunches and not do anything to pursue the dreams that I have. At the same time, confusion does not allow for much space. It does not allow for the universe to slip in, unannounced, and plant new flowers. It does not allow me the space to be able to see the paths that are, perhaps, not quite so well tread. It does not allow me to keep my eyes open enough to see the glimmers of possibility that are unknown to me.
And sometimes, choosing the road not taken makes all the difference.