While waiting for her pancake lunch today, my two year old daughter sung an impatient song while pounding a rhythm on the table: “I want, I want!”
Having had one of those mornings, her words snatched at me like a parent trying to pull their child back from traffic. “I WANT” reverberated in my head.
I’ve been looking so hard lately for some inner peace. There are things I want to change about myself as a person, a parent, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a writer, a professional and when those things all come to the surface of my consciousness at once, sometimes I feel like I am drowning in an ocean of my own making. I forget to put my feet down, put my head up above the surface to just breathe, and just tread water for a bit until I can see what I need to do to move forward.
My daughter’s words caught my attention today because part of what I’ve been immersed in lately is want. Wanting something different than who I am, wanting to be beyond a period of change, wanting more security, more adventure, more success, more confidence, more bravery, more love. When you mire yourself in want, what initially looked like a fordable waterway becomes a mud pit of being stuck.
It’s ok to dream or have visions and hopes for your life but when you attach yourself to a particular outcome or try to overly control the path, when dreams and hopes turn into yearning or dissatisfaction, everything comes up wanting. As we can’t guarantee that we have more than a moment to move towards fulfilling that want, focusing on it to the exclusion of the peace we can find by being present in the moment seems like a foolish, masochistic choice.
Lately, I’ve been trying to focus on being in the moment with all of that moment’s imperfections and just letting it be. When I come up against resistance within myself in the attempt, I’m trying to accept that as well, and let it pass. Instead of reaching and grasping and coming up empty; you can put your arms around yourself and have something to really hold onto. Stepping out of that mud pit of want may be the first steps towards a journey of inner freedom.