I used to love riding on carousels. I sit on a wooden horse that goes up and down, while the carousel goes round and round. I marvel at seeing the park from different viewpoints. And I wait in anticipation to see the familiar faces of my family watching me enjoy my ride as they wait for me at the exit gate. I gleefully wave as I go past…until I see them again.
During that ride, I feel unfettered, like I’m living a different life. No one else knows me and everything around me is new. I don’t have a history, only a future. Every scene before me is a new adventure waiting to be discovered.
Now when I ride a carousel, I do not feel as free. I feel confined as it shows me the same thing with every round. There’s still me, my life, my past, my stories to heal and reckon with. And I want out…almost to the point of jumping off the moving ride.
But the carousel is not to blame. It’s simply a reflection of my own inner world.
In both circumstances, the constant is me. And I wonder what happened between then and now. I’m still here in this body and yet my experience of life has changed.
I try to clear my head of the loud din that I hear but I can’t fathom, of my muddled view of the world because it’s beautiful but I can’t see it, of the cold fog surrounding me as I walk my days. It all feels heavy and I’m trying my best to hold on to an invisible golden railing, stop myself from falling into the dark rabbit hole where I don’t want to be.
I want to be back to where I feel life is a wonderful experience, where it’s not perfect and pretty all the time but I know I have it within me to make it through. I want a smile on my face and in my heart the moment I wake up, whether it’s sunny or raining outside. I want to feel connected again to the sacred space within me that knows I belong in this body and in this life, no matter the reason why.
In short, I want to feel joy again for simply Being.
And it’s with that desire that I find my way back.
Desire is my thirst for something more than what I’m experiencing right now. It’s like a faucet that drips water to my very dry lips, making me remember slowly what it feels like to be nourished.
Desire rekindles my heart to dig through all its nooks and crannies to make me feel all that it is that I want to feel again — joy, belonging, connection, compassion, gratitude, and most of all, the deep love I know I have for myself.
What desire reminds me is that these feelings are not far removed from me. They’re not out there in the future. They’re already here…I just need to let myself start to feel them again.
I shall feel them in every part of my heart, in every part of my body. I will pull myself up to remember again what’s possible.
I will pull apart what’s just assumption and what’s truth, what happened before and what I’m capable of now, and shake off any more remnants of a story that’s been playing like a broken record in my head.
Whatever that story’s saying about me is not true. I hear insults. I hear all the ways I’ve failed. It’s as if I’m re-experiencing the same story again and it’s gripping me with such terror.
I know they’re not true. They’re stories from my past and I’m now here.
Which is a testament to the truth that I’ve survived that story. A story that’s left me with a realisation of my own strength. A story that’s left me with gifts of wisdom.
A story that’s shown me I can have a different experience of life.
I’d like to wake up in the morning excited for what the day is going to offer me. I’d like to feel grateful with every breath for all the blessings in my life. I’d like to live purposefully.
I live when I can make choices. I live when I can actively participate in life. I live when I can come up to you and genuinely mean it when I ask, “How are you?”.
I’m going to let my desires reconnect me back so I can have this full experience of being in my body, ignited by my heart, trusting in the omnipotence of my being.
So that when the darkness comes again, I’ve got my hand back on that invisible golden railing, reminding me again I can choose to live joyfully.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Tears to Triumph: The Spiritual Journey from Suffering to Enlightenment.
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