Preaching What I Practice

Recently had a conversation with my dad, he’s been going through some stuff lately. I know that sounds very cryptic, but it’s not my story to tell. So we’ll leave it at that.

I’ve found myself in familiar, unfamiliar territory.

I had a conversation with my dad the other day that left me staring my good ol’ existential abandonment issues right in the face. Hello, old friends!

My dad is going through some stuff. I know that sounds cryptic, but that part of it is his story to tell, not mine. Regardless, it’s always difficult to see someone you love go through their stuff. Even though you know they have to, because it’s their stuff, not yours. Sometimes it feels like our stuff, but it’s not. I need this reminder tattooed on my hand.

I’ve been in a place like this before, eight years ago. However, this place is not really that place. It’s a completely different situation. And I am not the same person. 

Now I am someone who realizes she has a choice in how to respond to what is. I am now someone who realizes I even have control over what is. I have a deeper understanding of my own being, and my own strength. I have more words with which to express myself. 

Sure, I still have baggage. I’m human, give me a break! I’m not a life coach or a lifestyle expert or even an expert on anything but one thing—my own life. 

I used to wonder what the hell that was good for. How can I be of service to anyone else, if all I really know about is my own relationship to the world around me? 

And then it hit me. It’s precisely my ability to experience my own life, and my ability to communicate my experience to others, that is my contribution to our collective consciousness. 

Don’t worry—I don’t have delusions of grandeur or anything. But what I do have is a fuller sense of purpose. What if by sharing my authenticity, I can help others find theirs? It sounds more appealing than being the world’s best investment advisor assistant. 

And here’s how this relates to my dad. I found myself wondering, how can I help him, but still come from a place of strength and clarity? What if I could help him find his own ease and joy and freedom, by maintaining mine, and sharing what I know? We can’t really make someone understand or feel something. But we can give people words, and tools, and encouragement. What they decide to do with it all is up to them. And here’s that hand tattoo again: it is not my stuff to take on.

 He and I are a lot alike, though. I understand what he’s thinking, because I am often thinking the same things. We have a way of relating to each other that I don’t share with anyone else. I get him, and he gets me. It wasn’t always this way; in fact it’s a fairly recent development. But better late than never.

So, I’ll keep writing. And I’ll keep telling stories. Some will be funny, some won’t. Some will be about me, others will be about parts of me, or fragments of pieces of a larger picture. Hopefully most of it will make sense, and ideally some of it will resonate with you. In any case, I’m okay with it, and I am happy. 

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *