Maybe it’s just because I’m in my 20’s and it’s some kind of a requirement for this unstable time in my life, but I am terrified that every decision I make right now is going to somehow screw me over in the future. In truth, I am most afraid that one day soon it’s going to be pointed out (somehow in a public place) that actually I am a mistake. That my very essence is a great, big, awful, universal mess-up.
But I don’t want to feel like a mistake any longer; like I’m doing everything wrong and ugly. I am sick and tired of the anxiety that keeps me going at a hundred miles an hour all day and then up all night. I’m over the shrill voice in my head that critiques everything from the curl in my hair to the fact that I can’t seem to sit still in meditation or have pain-free knees in lotus.
What I want is to be hopeful. What I want is to be done fighting a never ending battle with… me. I want to take a rest in a cool glade and feel the tender grass under my knees, and hear beside me the gurgling of a river rushing over glistening brown stones. I want to dream, uninhibited. I want to sit in meditation free from Cruella’s voice. I want to hope out loud without fear of ridicule, and I want to forgive those that have abused me, betrayed me, hurt me.
But, honestly, in this moment I can’t think of anything more impossible than freedom from anxiety and self-hatred. It would take a serious miracle for me to release all of that. For most of my life I have been fighting and fighting, I have been struggling and striving and working and beating my head, my fists, against the walls that have appeared in my life. The obstacles have been daunting and many, and sometimes, like now, hopelessness seems to overtake me.
But no matter how dark the anxiety, doubt and depression has been over the past few months, what I am coming to realize is that I have almost no control over anything. I cannot alter other peoples’ opinions of me, and I cannot take away their fears and live their lives for them. I can’t “save” anyone; not my parents or my friends. I cannot control what ex-boyfriends do, or what my ex-stepmother says about me. I cannot save even one single person on this planet right now...
By now you can tell that I feel afraid and uncertain all the way down into my bones. I don’t know what my future holds for me! I don’t know if I believe that miracles actually exist.
But there is absolutely no one and nothing that can stop me from dreaming, from hoping, and from forgiving and loving! All of the self-hatred and anxiety in the world can't keep me from completely giving up on the possibility of ugly becoming beautiful, violent becoming peaceful, and indifferent becoming compassionate.
You know, when I think about it now, I believe there is a miracle out there waiting for me. In fact, I think that every moment of my life has been a miracle, instead of a mistake. It’s a miracle I can still love and forgive, and it’s a miracle that I haven’t given up believing in my dreams.
One day soon I will rest in soft grass beside a singing river, and God will sit beside me in that beautiful place, and She will tell me stories of where I’ve been, and we will laugh together. Then She will whisper to me the glory of my future, and I will be at peace, with my greatest Friend resting next to me.
In this semi-darkness I am in right now, and that maybe you’re in too, that sunlight dappled glade seems far away. But somewhere, a note of music is blowing over a lake, a love letter is being reread for the hundredth time, a new friend is made with a smile, a romantic love is born by the touching of soft lips to a cheek and a happy exhalation of air. All over the world, beautiful things are happening, and we can either sit in meditation and agonize over our to-do lists or we can be content knowing that miracles are happening elsewhere, even if they’re not happening right here, right now.
Even though us 20-somethings (and 30-somethings and 90-somethings) often feel like we are on the edge of a rocky precipice with bleeding feet and cheeks wet with tears, even though our legs are shaking from the exertion of a steady uphill climb… God is beside us. We are stronger and more beautiful than we could have ever imagined.
And tomorrow morning we will wipe the sleep from our eyes and lay out our meditation pillows. We will try to deepen our breaths in Warrior II, stay positive when something goes wrong at work, and bend our knees into lotus… We will continue along our paths even though we can’t see more than a few feet in front of us at times, and our old frenemies named anxiety and depression make their appearance. Nothing will stop us from doing what we believe is best for our bodies, minds and spirits. Truly, what more can we ask of our perfectly imperfect human selves, than to just get up and adventure through another glorious day.
Yes, a miracle.