We’d leave our sessions feeling invigorated, ready to take on the world!
We’d explore the creative process. We’d share breakthroughs. And—since we are both somewhat type-A personalities—we’d remind each other to take good care of ourselves and those we love along the way.
JJ would grill me: What have you done for yourself this month? Have you been working out? Have you been eating healthfully? Have you been having fun?
Well sure, JJ, I've been having fun; probably more than most. I have hours of sheer glee. And some ridiculously goofy days and weekends, filled with endless laughter and wonderful people. But as we zoom toward the close of another year—and another birthday—I’m doing my “annual thing” and questioning if that’s enough.
These people were pragmatists. They had no side to them. No superficial gloss. No hidden agendas or devious manipulative meanderings. You knew exactly where you stood with them at any given moment of any given day. They were resilient and no matter what came their way, they knew they'd get through it.
I grew up with that British Stiff-Upper-Lip doctrine; hold your head high, suck it up, get over yourself. Do the right thing. Don’t be self-centered; don’t show-off; don't be rude; don’t use other people. Work hard. Do things to the best of your ability, or don't do them at all. Think of those less fortunate than yourself. Be grateful for what you have. Do what you have to do; don’t whine about it. And by God, girl, if you’re going to do it … do it with passion!
In today’s society when so much emphasis is placed on self-fulfillment, self-growth, self-improvement, self-actualization, self-self-self ... have we become a selfish society? Is it selfish to expect to live, to learn, to laugh—and most importantly—to love out loud?
Is it self-indulgent to want to rise above historical references, constraining beliefs, self-imposed limitations? Is it enough to be content with what-is? To concede to the perfunctory veneer of what is easy or expected or known? Is it enough to yield to what is gratuitously given? Or what simply comes our way?
Or should we strive for what, or whom, we ache for? For that which makes us burn? For what we perceive life might-or-should-or-could-or-would-be if we took a risk; if we laid ourselves bare, opened ourselves up, and stretched beyond the comfort of our current being?
I know what I think. What do you think?