The cycle of drinking slowly wore down my dreams. Small, daily life tasks were near impossible toward the end, let alone reaching for the big bold dreams that come from the gut. A large part of me was flattened into a two-dimensional world of drinking and everything else, but there was still a thrum of a heartbeat that couldn’t stop beating the rhythm of my sacred heart. This is the same part of me that needs to write, that strives for higher love-making, that longs for light I can name but do not know. It’s the mama part of my heart. The part that falls into synchronicity when I hear beautiful music and swoons at the vastness of the sea. Drinking always felt like a fast track to that part of my heart, but it never quite took me all the way home.
I took this picture during my last trip to San Francisco. A trip where I was still very heavily reconciling these two sides of me. The part that could not imagine staying sober, and the part that knew there was no way to honor the sacred part of my heart if I didn’t.
The largeness of the ocean has always been redemption. I stood looking out over this particular coast thinking I can not possibly do this.
And yet, I was. Right that moment I was sober. Right then I was impossibly in the middle of my own, sacred heart.
Every day I spend sober, I begin to (only very slightly) believe in the possibility of the big, bold dreams. Things I realize I’d all but given up on. Things I convinced myself I didn’t want and could live without. But it’s not true; it’s just not true. I do want the big bold dream. I can live without my sacred heart but I’d rather die.
This is a piece of a passage my friend Holly shared with me by John O’Donahue.
If you could imagine the most incredible story ever, it would be less incredible than the story of being here. And the ironic thing is that story is not a story, it is true. It takes us so long to see where we are. It takes us even longer to see who we are. This is why the greatest gift you could ever dream is a gift that you can only receive from one person. And that person is you yourself. Therefore, the most subversive invitation you could ever accept is the invitation to awaken to who you are and where you have landed. Plato said in The Symposium that one of the greatest privileges of a human life is to become midwife to the birth of the soul in another. When your soul awakens, you begin to truly inherit your life. You leave the kingdom of fake surfaces, repetitive talk and weary roles and slip deeper into the true adventure of who you are and who you are called to become. The greatest friend of the soul is the unknown. Yet we are afraid of the unknown because it lies outside our vision and our control. We avoid it or quell it by filtering it through our protective barriers of domestication and control. The normal way never leads home.
That’s what I’m starting to not only to imagine but actually live. Crazy impossible. Crazy possible.