Sometimes you just feel yourself inexplicably drawn to a word or a phrase that somehow speaks to your soul in unknown way. For me today, that word is ease. I think ease is something I’ve always longed for but mostly found just out of reach. As a kid growing up in what I’ve only recently begun to realize was a dysfunctional household (who didn’t?) I spent a lot of energy creating and maintaining a calmer environment – definitely not synonymous with “ease.” Later, while in the work world, I always felt like I had to summon up the energy and courage to take each painstaking step closer to my goals. It felt almost like a fighting energy, like I was battling some unknown opponent who was always just one step behind me threatening to topple any progress that I made. This made life itself feel like a fight in some ways, so I wasn’t to surprised when I was eventually diagnosed with an autoimmune disease – which is essentially you own body’s cells fighting themselves. There was a war going on – and I was carrying it with me wherever I went.
Since that time I’ve been gifted with some life changing realizations that have offered me a refreshing clarity about the truth of my existence. I didn’t even realize that I was tortured, because that was all I ever knew, but now it seems so obvious. So this morning, as I was taking stock of my newfound revelations, the word ease seemed to jump of the landscape for me – as if to say “notice me!” I found myself grasping for a vague song lyric in my head that contained the word “ease.” Struggling to reach deep into my memory, I was able to gradually recover the melodic melody that was begging to be released. It’s the chorus of an old Judd’s song called “River of Time.”
Flow on, River of Time
Wash away the pain and heal my mind.
Flow on, River of Time,
Carry me away
And leave it all far behind.
Flow on River of Time
Upon closer inspection I realized that the lyric didn’t even contain the word “ease” – I had been mistaking it for “heal.” Yet that in itself seemed like a message. I believe that we’re designed to heal. Perhaps that’s even one of our biggest purposes in life – to encounter hardships and confusion, and then with the help of time – gain the clarity, wisdom and inner strength to go back and heal those raw and wounded parts of ourselves. That seems to be where my life – and now my work – are taking me.
As I grow older, I realize the utmost importance of peace. Not just achieving it – but being it. Not finding it – but expressing it. Not creating it – but allowing it. All those years of struggling to be what I thought I had to be – had to do – in order to prove myself in this competitive world were just stressful expectations that I put on myself. No one was standing in the sidelines forcing me to do so. I was unconsciously choosing to impose a sense of dis-ease on myself. Seems so silly and unnecessary from this new point of perspective.
So where does that leave me now? Free. Free to do and to be whatever I choose without the baggage of that vague inner struggle. At first glance one would think that kind of mindset would take away all of your ambition and leave you in a place where you might not work to achieve anything – but instead I feel the opposite. Without the heaviness of the fears that were chasing me, I feel lighter and more optimistic. Like something wonderful is waiting to burst forth from within me, as opposed to me having to go out into a chaotic world and try to make something happen. I feel like a vessel for good. Ready to simply allow myself to pour out that goodness, sharing it with all who cross my path. With ease. Without expectation. Showing up and simply bringing the best that I have to offer in the moment. I somehow now know that will be enough. That honest and authentic expression is all the world has ever been asking of me – and somehow I was getting in the way.
It’s amazing how life always has something to teach us, no matter how long we live. What an exciting adventure. Who knows what unexpected journeys lie around the next corner? I’m just grateful that a new sense of “ease” will be my companion when I get there.
Marci Wise, MA, RMHCI, is a motivational author and mental health counselor accepting clients in the Fort Myers/Naples Florida area. Call 239-689-3086 to schedule an appointment today – or visit marciwise.com for additional resources. Material is free to repost as long as proper credit is listed, including our website address.