Sometimes I feel I’m not where I thought I’d be at this stage in my life, yet my inner child wisdom tells me that progress is relative, for movement, even lots of it, if it is frenetic and harried, and in no particular direction, is little better than inertia. Movement in the right direction, however, even one baby step at a time…movement in the direction of your dreams? Ah! That’s progress!
That’s what I believe to be true in my heart of hearts, when I listen to the song of my soul. Of course, my ego sometimes plays me a different tune. My ego says, “Come on girl, you’re 66 already!” My soul says, “You’re only 66, Girlfriend, give yourself a break!”
I do know what I want to do with my life and have made several attempts over the years in that direction only to sabotage myself in one way or another, surrendering to the old tapes in my head from false beliefs I’ve acummulated over the years, some of which came from my misguided, albeit well-meaning, parents, both now gone. (It was a shock to discover that even after 50 you can feel like an orphan!)
My father, God love his soul, was a good man who worked too hard, played too little, was bitter and disappointed most of his life, harboring resentments, unwilling to forgive others for real and imagined slights. Even when I explained that forgiveness was more for his soul’s peace than for anyone else’s, he said, “I can’t let ’em off the hook.” He never got it that it was he who was on that hook.
The message I got from him, among others, and this was, perhaps, the most poignant: “What do you mean you want to do something you love and enjoy for a living? You’re supposed to WORK for a living. That’s why they call it WORK!”
My mother, God love her soul, was a good woman who had such a capacity for joy, but it was buried inside her. She loved music, had a beautiful voice, and was most alive when she was singing, yet she didn’t allow herself to know or experience much joy outside of the music. She lived her life with just a little piece of sky peeking through the window to her heart. She was sad and disappointed much of the time, complaining about, rather than claiming, her life.
From my mother I heard this resounding message: “You can’t expect to be happy in life. Nobody is really happy. If you expect to be happy, it will only bring you heartache and disappointment.”
Realizing that those tapes were playing in my head much of the time, however subliminally, took a bunch of years, and not a little therapy; yet even with that knowledge, it has not been a simple process to turn the volume down.
Every time I took that proverbial emptied-handed leap of faith into the void to start my own seminar business, I wound up running out of money, energy and or faith and went back to working 9 to 5 for someone else. That’s not to say I didn’t do meaningful work in the traditional arena, for I did, but that longing to do something more has always bitten at the heels of my soul.
I don’t want to recite the litany of my life here, but do want to make the point that even when we don’t think we’re making any progress, as long as we continue moving in the right direction, progress is being made. I have sometimes been without an income, but I have never been unemployed. I do things which bring me and others joy, and I know that is no small thing. And I’m always thinking. My mother used to say, “Camille, you think too much!” She even thought I read too much, so when she saw me reading something that wasn’t a school assignment, she would say, “If you have time to read, you have time to help me clean!” It didn’t take me long to become a closet reader. OK. OK. I was a bathroom reader (which sounds like bottom feeder) neither of which are too exotic. Truth is, I spent so much time on the toilet reading, I had a perpetual ring around my arse.
And now, if you’re in the mood….read on. I’ve inserted a half dozen or so of my shorter poems for you. I’d love to know what you think of them. I’m hoping to include them in a book with some of my shorter essays and quotes. The tentative title is THE WISDOM OF CAMILLE’S INNER CHILD.
All rules defied…a stranger lied.
Ethics bowed and left the stage.
In the end, my friend,
deceived, yet relieved,
honor regained, we will laugh…
knowing we have all been both idiot and sage.
I take God where others cannot;
it is a knowing I almost forgot.
I was reminded the other day
when I saw a child at play,
acting like a little piece of God.
Roadblocks to our happiness?
Those cursed how’s, closed doors,
dashed hopes, and broken promises!
Perhaps. Or are they simply hurdles
we need only climb over or walk around?
As children, unabashedly at play,
we incessantly called out, “My turn! My turn!”
…sometimes even when it wasn’t.
Interesting, as adults we wonder when it will be…
when, in truth, though some may disagree…
it is always our turn.
We have but to take it.
Persistence, unlike patience,
is not in waiting, waiting, waiting;
it’s in doing, doing, doing.
Ah, how I love words.
I wonder if God’s face scrunches up
when in prayer we humbly ask “Can I….?” or
we plead, head bowed in shame, “Please….May I….?”
instead of knowing it is ours already
and simply saying, “Thank you” in advance.
All the things I fear….
the monster “what ifs” that I dread…
are but villains of my own design,
like boogie men under my bed.
Self-deception is misinterpretation
of the truth we were meant to live.
Self deprivation is soul annihilation…
and they will evaporate… Poof!
…as soon as we forgive.
A Success Haiku
Success, late is fine!
You will not find me asleep.
Don’t knock. Just come in!
I can bear the pain
when I remember it’s just
my wings coming in.
Out of sight…out of mind.
Out of body…so sublime.
Or so I pondered. And then oh what wonder!
An Angel tugged at my ear and whispered,
“You signed up to be in the Body Sacred.
Take a deep breath of life, Child.
You’ll be back home soon enough.”
Thanks for listening.