by darksouls1 on Pixabay

And I run.

Today I felt like I barely had 5 laps in me, but felt encouraged by my spiritual guides to go for 7. After 5 laps, I started sweating through both terror and rage. I asked for help and received advice to take processing these fierce emotions with gentleness. I’ve driven this life and body around with ferocity for decades. And yeah, it hurt, the running, the way giving up the ghost usually does until you actually do the thing. Ego struggles at the end of every road until we slump down and call it.

I called it purring around the glassy lakes that reflect the cirrus clouds and ogling trees. I called it, sweat pouring off me, running slower than some, faster than some. Am I athletic? Strong? Old? Young? What I am is in it.

And that was the goal.

Sometimes I grow convinced of my own weakness. Then my guides send me out to run to remember who I am and my own strength. I feel wholly returned to myself only after running with both the terror and rage and then deciding to trust myself through them and in them down to the me that lies beneath.

Nervous energy still darts around like a thief’s eyes. But my body glows because somewhere I know that I got this. I know it within my power-in-the-world third chakra. In my feet and toes. In this crazy elaborate exquisite silence of my being rooted at the kitchen table.

So much tension still floats around, but somehow I know I will make it. We will make it through together.

Do other people feel so many things all the blasted time? It doesn’t matter, as I must deal with the fact that I do. With gentleness, I intend to create lap space for all my little children to climb up and receive cuddles. I hiss at my fear and refuse to be afraid of it. I face you, gentle one. We do this together.

Senior Airman Mabel Aguirre soothes Ajamal Hazrat, a 1-year-old patient at the Craig Joint Theater Hospital Jan. 10, 2011, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The majority of the Hazrat family were badly injured after the propane tank used to heat their home exploded. Airman Aguirre is a 455th Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron medical technician. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Shelia deVera)

I moan. I can barely tolerate my own kindness to myself. I feel so humiliated always, always like I’m wearing my underwear on the outside of my skin and nothing more. When I name it, it’s not that bad. What, like swimwear?

I think all our shame is like that, based on a sand castle moat that cannot hold back real water except in our imaginations. I open my canvas coat and flash the world, holding nothing back. And then I slink away and cower with the horror of my humiliation.

And then I laugh. It’s not so much really, just a little noisy, angst-ridden, fit 50-ish woman not sure what to make of the discrepancy between hot tigress and varicose veins. Who doesn’t know if I am all that or nothing or both. Who can’t decide except to take it one day at a time. Who has to go running, and then writing, to stand a chance inside her own mind, heart, body, and life.

I surrender. Open not my coat this time, but my arms. Let the children within me run in. Only in their innocence am I naked and unafraid. And this I trust, damn it, because it’s the right thing to do. Because why not? Because joy and sunshine endure, as do we, even through those dark nights of the soul when they have no effect when each drop of light is like a puncture wound rinsing off our salted bodies. I can take it all or nothing. And nothing isn’t ever the choice here on Earth. Nothing waits beyond and inside of each decision, but not outside it. If we want oblivion, we must accept this stinging present nettle moment as our last, our best, our one, this one.