This morning, I opened the photo app on my phone to view a few of my favorite pics of my granddaughter. In one, she is eating her first piece of birthday cake, well, cupcake. Oblivious to the camera, she's focused solely on the only mission worthy of a child celebrating her first year on earth--smearing her face with icing and stuffing small chunks of moist deliciousness into her puffy cheeks. Her eyes are bright with wonder, joy, and life. As I scrolled through the rest of the pics from that day, I noticed the light and smiles on the rest of our faces. Watching her brought us so much delight, and today her picture reminded me not to waste my life chasing things or people that do not fill my soul with wonder, with joy, and with love.
It has taken me a good long while to figure that out, to let go of the illusory "American dream" and embrace the dreams and passions that I was born to fulfill. My wake-up call happened when I saw my granddaughter's head burst forth from the womb. I caught her warm, squirmy frame, cut the cord, wrapped her in a blanket, and decided in that moment, that finally, it was time to LIVE.
What does that mean for me? For me, living means letting go of toxic expectations to be perfect, to be everywhere, do everything, please everyone, and be anxious about all of it every minute. Living has meant stepping away from toxic relationships and being honest about my own need for personal growth as a woman and a child of God. It has meant learning to REST when I am tired, to say no without guilt, and to finally, without hesitation, to say YES to me, to my dream, to my call, to the untapped potential that has lain dormant within me for way too long. Living means saying YES every day to the divine compass that directs me and the divine hand that provides for me. It means allowing myself to return to that FREE place my granddaughter found on her first birthday--that place where I can be fully, unashamedly, delightfully ME and enjoy every minute of it.
Dear Reader, follow my lead. C'mon, it's time to LIVE.