the middle way
“…years and years of going to the left or right, going to yes or no, going to right or wrong has never really changed anything. Scrambling for security has never brought anything but momentary joy…
We deserve our birthright, which is the middle way, an open state of mind that can relax with paradox and ambiguity.”
— Pema Chodron, “When Things Fall Apart”
I am finding my home. In sitting in discomfort. In not having an answer. In avoiding the partisan, the binary, the duality of life. It’s way Pema Chodron calls “the middle way,” what I might call “peace of fucking mind.”
For many years of my life, I felt a deep obligation to a script. I had it all planned out, I knew how to set a conversation in motion right towards my perfectly rehearsed dialogue. I knew my purpose and my lines.
I knew how to save you.
The other day, I opened an old journal from the year that my grandmother died. I was wondering what I wrote down in the last two weeks sitting by her side. One of the most beautiful, profound, and heart-wrenching experiences of my life and all I found were pages full of words that were not my own.
Pages and pages of the script.
In 2018, I started to use my own words for what seemed like the first time.
When I started, I wrote about my experiences. I would outline the happenings in my days. Then, I started writing my feelings, I might work through something on the page, I found a way of venting. I might copy down a beautiful quote, lyrics on occasion, but my words became my own.
What a profound thing, to find your own voice after all those years.
And, what I’m discovering now is that this goes beyond pen and paper:
After all this time, I am living fully.
I am reading good books (even fiction!) I enjoy tv shows, board games, pleasure, my body, my boobs! I have deep love and deep friendship. If this is baffling, let me tell you: when you live scripted, there is no time for pleasure. You have strict choreography, no time for extra-curriculars!! !
I’m making time for living for the first time in my life.
Now, I use the page as a place where I can sit with my pain. I am finding a place for my comfort and my discomfort. I am experiencing my life on my own terms. I don’t have a script anymore. When we meet, I meet you. I hear you. I share in real-time, not waiting for my “in” so I can find my place on the page and start my well-rehearsed dialogue.
This feels so much more true, so much more honest, so much more “me.”
And I’m really proud of that.