Monday, January 5, 2015

In Search of Authentic Self: The Woman You Were Meant to Be!!!!

Every year, I find a "day book" to read each morning, something full of wise thoughts and Bible verses. This year, I've picked up Sarah Ban Breathnach's Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. It was a gift from a teacher at Little Flower Girls' School and I have, up until now, pretty much just left it on the shelf.

But today's reading speaks of finding "authentic self", and since I've been on the search for a long time, I thought I could use a road map. I had dreams and plans, I know, but they have been put aside as the incessant demands of work and family intruded. I have lately reconnected with my authentic self. I found her cowering behind a basket of laundry in the basement, practically hidden by a box of Christmas ornaments.

"What are you doing down here?" I demanded as I searched for my winter boots. "Why aren't you at the computer, writing that novel we've always talked about?" I noted that she held a pen in one hand and a sheaf of bills in the other. The sight saddened me. She had shown so much promise! To be reduced to this!

She spread her arms out. "This is the only space you have given me." Her arms knocked over a pile of paint cans. They clattered to the floor one by one and she bent to pick them up.

"Leave them," I said. I recognized that what she said was true. I had relegated her to a very tiny space in my life. There she sat, pen in hand, while I raced about my busy day. I sometimes nodded to her in passing. Once, last summer, I sat and spoke with her for more than an hour, until someone upstairs called my name.

"This isn't right," I said to my authentic self. "You can't grow down here. There is no room. There is no light."

I left the paint cans rolling across the floor and invited my authentic self upstairs. I made her a strong cup of Irish tea and set her up in a corner of the dining room, at a well-lit table with a second-hand laptop.

"It's not much, " I apologized.

She waved my comment aside. "It's enough, " she said. "I just need a little bit of space and light." She sipped at her tea and began bounding on the keys of the laptop.

I walked away, smiling, I intend to visit her everyday to see how she is faring, keeping her supplied with tea and pens. Already, some color has returned to her cheeks and she looks a bit better.

And, while I am getting to know my authentic self, I have to try not to think about those paint cans rolling around in the basement.

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