Sunday, October 07, 2007

Untangling the Threads

"Everyone's life is an intricately woven tapestry that envelopes us without really realizing it. Up close we only see the individual fibers but if you step back you see the whole panorama."

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Our lives a tapestry? I have often imagined our souls as spun of fine gossamer fabric, beautifully embroidered by those other souls that have touched our lives deeply, so why not our entire lives? If one remembers Greek Mythology, and the story of the Moirae, one does wonder if there are threads of destiny woven into our lives. Would it be something we would want to see, the entire tapestry of our lives?

In my attempts to analyze this, my mind ranged far and wide, trying to understand my own life. My past, my present, my future.

When we review our lives, most of us see the flaws much more easily than we see the beauty. Are we looking too closely, instead of taking a step back, and seeing our entire tapestry?

Over years of living, portions of our tapestry become threadbare, many of the threads are frayed, weakened, unraveling, but they are still beautiful, if we allow ourselves to widen our view, to see how they have been woven together to create the person we have become.

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Along with this image of our lives as a tapestry, I had other thoughts threading their way in. Last week I left a comment on another blog. In effect asking the question, "What would make you happiest?"

My question to our fellow blogger gave me pause.

Do I know the answer to my own question?

I have entertained many dreams over the years of my life. Finally being able to accomplish some of those dreams, is/was supposed to make me happier. Happier than what? Than I was/am?

But I don't know I will become happier in the achievement of those dreams. I can't. My dreams are of the future. We cannot predict the future.

I can only hope I reach some of them, or weave new ones into the tapestry of my life.

What is it about us humans? So many of us search for happiness, as if it is elusive, we are not content with our now, we instead hope for future happiness.

Yet, when I take a step back, then zoom in on individual moments of my life, I do see threads of happiness woven throughout. I know what happiness feels like, I even know what contentment feels like, we tend to dwell on their opposites though. Why?

I have felt happiness, I have felt contentment. Why do I keep thinking there is more, will be more, has to be more? Each day of my life has moments of happiness in it. Each day of my life has moments of joy. Each day of my life has moments of peace. True, they can quite often be wee little moments, but they are there. When I remember to look for them.

Finding those threads of happiness can be simply noticing the small beauties. A sunrise, a sunset, a moonrise, a thunderstorm, a bird in flight, a cold drink on a hot humid day, a squirrel scampering through the trees, the sun and breeze creating flowing sparkling diamonds over the water, a blue blue sky filled with fluffy white clouds, the pure laugh of a young child, a smile on the face of someone I love, hearing the voice of someone I miss over the phone, the chuckles emitted when someone leaves me a silly, quirky little voice mail message, the goofy emails sent just because someone thought of me when they wanted to send out smiles, the slender curve of Miss Daughters neck, the amused sparkle in the eyes of Mr. Son. The sense of accomplishment I feel at the completion of a needed task. People I have never met, but only spoke with over the phone, warm me with their words, almost on a daily basis. These are all moments filled with happiness. There are many many more simple pleasures, happy moments. They add up. When I remember to look for them, when I remember to see them.

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In the midst of weaving my present I often feel as if the shuttle is stuck, I am in the limbo land of waiting. Waiting for my marriage to finally be over. (That ain't gonna happen until I make some decisions, me, not my soon-to-be-ex, but me.) My life feels as if it is in perpetual stasis.

Much of the past was spent agonizing over my decision to leave my marriage. I am no longer worried about my now, but I am still worried about the future. An equalization of sorts when I take into account the huge tangle of fear and worry I wove and lived with for so very long.

There are times in which I tell myself, I am taking a breather, letting my emotions achieve a sense of balance, before I move on.

At other times I tell myself, I am stalling out of fear of the unknown. Yet, it is all unknown, it will remain unknown until I weave the next thread, and the next, and the next.

I have become impatient with myself. I know I still hold fear tightly within. I fear my own flaws. I fear my own frayed edges. I fear my own fear. I have and continue to search for the threads of fear in my life tapestry. When I find them, I attempt to tie the tattered threads back together, trying to weave through the fear.

I know I must find all of those threads of fear, yet I seem to be blind to many of them. Perhaps I fear I cannot live up to my own expectations of what I wish my future to contain. That vague future happy. I am so damn weary of my fears. I am close to being ready to move the shuttle forward again. The thing is, I want it to be easy. But, it isn't going to be easy. When I think it through I realize I have already woven the hardest image (leaving), and it was easier than I had imagined. Don't get me wrong, it was extremely difficult, still is. But, it was not as difficult as my fears imagined it to be, easier than the story I wove, created from thoughts threaded with fear. I allowed my fears to control me as much as I allowed my soon-to-be-ex to control me.

So much of what we do, how we think, how we feel, becomes a habit. A habit is not something easy to break once it is entrenched within our psyche.

I wove a habit of living with fear. I lived the habit of being controlled. I wove the habit of thinking I was unhappy all of the time.

I keep thinking, I am slowly picking out the threads woven by those habits, but, maybe, I am not. Because, there are still many days when I forget, when I look upon the weaving of the past, and see only my flaws, blame myself for all that went wrong. I have to take a step back, use a long sweeping gaze that sees the entire panorama spread before me, to remember it wasn't all me. It is so difficult sometimes to hold onto that thread of thought. I don't want my soon-to-be-ex to be a bad man, I don't want him to seem mean and uncaring, I really don't think he is...completely...he is just the product of his own tapestry, one in which the weaver decided to weave similar scenes over and over again. I want to...wish to see beauty in his tapestry, as well as my own. I need that, for my children, for me.

But my own tapestry is hidden by my own shadow, I stand too close, blocking the light, I forget and only remember the pain I caused, at those times, I need to remember to take a few steps away, view it from a different perspective, then, maybe, I will see there is beauty too.

If only, I remember to look.

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Anonymous said...

You're not the only who lives in fear. I feel sometimes as if I have lived my whole life, fearing things that have never happened, and I'm not alone.

I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.-Mark Twain

It is part of being human to have these thoughts, to feel so lost, to struggle to change. It has always amazed me that the most awful things that have happened to me, have been those things which have taught me the most about myself and have made me stronger in the end. Sounds like a platitude but it's true.

Life is never without suffering, that's a given but we can also find joy, if we choose to. Take care sweetie.

Sunny Delight said...

"It has always amazed me that the most awful things that have happened to me, have been those things which have taught me the most about myself and have made me stronger in the end."

This is so very true...and as I keep telling myself...I have to remember to look to what I have learned, and keep looking for the beauties in our lives.

We will both get there, with faith in ourselves...and time, lots of time...I gotta keep reminding myself of that also.