What I Have Learned So Far
by Mary Oliver
Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.
All summations have a beginning, all effect has a
story, all kindness begins with the sown seed.
Thought buds toward radiance. The gospel of
light is the crossroads of — indolence, or action.
Be ignited, or be gone.
I woke up this morning with jealousy. Who know how much of the night I spent jaws clenched, grinding my teeth? How many times did I have to remind myself to relax my shoulders? A few years ago, I wouldn’t have known what to do with this stress. I probably would taken my jealous feelings and hidden them and then that energy, still needing to be expressed would have found its outlet somewhere else. I would have expended it on my ex husband, mistaking love for co-dependency, or I would have used that energy to distract myself by consuming movies, or shopping, or going to bars.
“Be ignited or be gone”, says Mary Oliver. Jealousy is fuel. I woke up jealous of my friend because she is doing what she loves and is making a living doing so. I started to feel sorry for myself, but then I noticed what those feelings of jealousy were making my body want to do. They were making my body want to move. I am clenching my jaw and it hurts because I am spending so much energy keeping myself from talking and sharing my voice and perspective. My shoulders hurt and are tense because I am trying so hard to restrict myself from reaching out and grasping the life I want. Holding so much energy back is exhausting and I am learning to let go.
So today, I let jealousy carry me over to my bike, and through the park, past the geese and to this coffee shop where I am now writing for this blog. Later, I will let it help me as I do what I need to do to set up my meal worm farm and then I will allow it to encourage the discipline I need to study so that I can share what I learn to help others. I don’t have the energy for indolence anymore, I choose action.