Today I had a moment of guilt and regret over not running in the park enough this fall. I wanted to see the leaves change, and I didn’t. The trees are now much darker and some are completely naked. Those pretty colors of fall have fallen. I took too long. I procrastinated, and now I feel guilty about it. I thought to myself, “Aimee, you feel guilt a lot. You should work on this. Cultivate the opposite.” But then I thought, “What is the opposite? Do I even know?” I immediately left what I was doing and I did a quick Google search. This is what I found on a blog: The opposite of fear is Certainty. The opposite of guilt is Deserving. The opposite of lack is Knowing. Huh. Deserving? Do I not deserve to see the fall colors? I investigated more….
adj. wor·thi·er, wor·thi·est
1. Having worth, merit, or value; useful or valuable.
2. Honorable; admirable: a worthy fellow.
3. Having sufficient worth; deserving: worthy to be revered; worthy of acclaim.
Now, this is interesting because I have been told by two close friends this month that I don’t feel (or act?) worthy. Two completely different conversations. One was about not sharing my accomplishments with my family, and the other was about not collaborating with other artists, working for them, not with them. The interesting thing is that I used to feel major guilt about being an artist. I still do, like:” What makes me so special that I can doodle for a living, while someone with a ‘real’ job, like a nurse, has to ride the bus at 2am after working her ass off in an emergency room?” That way of thinking has blocked my creativity, productivity and paralyzed my progress for years. (Blah, blah, blah…) Too much thinking, not enough doing will get you stuck every time.
OK, I’m stopping the brain babble and the fighting. I will go for my ‘fall leaves’ run. I will move forward. Also, I just spoke to a friend on the phone. I feel better now, like things are opening up. I’ve started to relax and see. Things outside are looking beautiful. Just as they are. No special moment needed. This is good news.
Ugh. Time is passing, I still haven’t gone, and I’m still going on about it in my head. This time it is new guilt. Feeling guilty that it is getting late. That it is not a good time to run. I have other things that I need to accomplish today. –Nonsense! I decide to grab my camera and see what is there, in this moment.
OK, back to deserving and worthy. I thought about it while on my run. Is my life not a reflection of myself? If I did not think the half naked trees, the rainy day, the cold air, the few fall leaves that are left are worthy (of my time and attention)? That I have missed or squandered something, is that not a reflection of how I see life? It is coming from me, is it not? Why is this moment not as beautiful as last week, last month? Why have I judged it harshly and written it off as no longer good? Not worth the investment of time, or more importantly… of love?
“It’s too dark out. I won’t see much. The leaves have already fallen. I missed the fall colors.” –No! Not true. See what is there! Have to courage to experience the moment as it is, for all that it is. That is beauty. That is worth my time. That is loving life. That is loving change (which is life.) Isn’t the beauty of fall all about change? If I see the value in everything, I see the value in myself.
[Top photo is by Annie Russell; middle photo is by me; bottom photo is of me! Both were taken on that day.]