attention

Today I finished the mandatory training we retake every 18 months. We’re tested on knowledge that keeps us qualified to do our jobs safely & proficiently. We’re reunited with people we started the job with. We’re reminded of the unknowing that came with our initial training, and what those nervous first days felt like before we were completely immersed in this lifestyle. Whenever I come back here, I plunge into a state of reflection and contemplation.

Has it really been 4 years?
Am I still happy with this job?
Am I still heading in a direction aligned with my highest good?

Yes, yes, and yes.

I’m sure my contemplative state also has something to do with the beautiful views of the mountains that surround Salt Lake City. (Perfect for gazing at while tapping into the innermost parts of your soul, even in a place as frenzied as an airport.) So, I asked myself a big question—Am I comfortable with myself completely on my own?

Yes. Finally. Because in that moment I realized that sure, I’ve been on my own for 3 years, but I haven’t been independent of partnership. For 3 years I have consistently partnered myself with other people—including 3 days after a break up in 2016. (Big mistake, I do not advise that. However, if you’re looking to be triggered into healing it’s a wild, albeit painful, catapult into getting there. Kind of like the Rainbow Road of healing and shadow work. Still don’t advise it though.)

OFF TOPIC—Point is, I partnered myself to the idea of them, whether they could show up or not.

I chose:

The emotionally unavailable
Those at a physical distance (usually out of state)
People who only had sexual/physical interest in me
People who continuously showed me exactly who they were (which was Not For Me) while I ignored it

I’ve experienced more than a handful of these scenarios over the past 3 years. All with their various lessons to teach, and while I wasn’t always glad to be on the receiving end, I was always grateful. So when I say to myself now, “Hmm, I’m actually very happy on my own. I’m not sure a relationship is a high priority currently.”

My ego says, “But you’ve been single for 3 years!”

But my higher self says, “You most certainly have not. You have committed to all of those people in your past, either once or on and off again, by your choice and yours alone. You used their resistance as a form of escaping facing the resistance YOU had to looking deep within yourself and do the REAL work, the TRUE healing. You have not been single at all. You have been committed to everyone else but you.

So in all honesty, this phase feels new. A truer freedom. A more honest independence. It is a vast, lush garden in which I discover more of myself. Where I see clearly which parts need more nourishment, more Sun, more pruning, more love. As poet Mary Oliver says, “Attention is the beginning of devotion.” And so much of my attention has been on You, You, You, You and You.

No one is my escape, because I don’t need to. I don’t want to. I have no desire to not be exactly where I am. I am HERE, and while I feel I’ve dove in and out of this energy for the past two years, it wasn’t ever as stable as it is now. The grounding it’s taken me to move into this has been deep and relentless. I am doing the work, ugly and beautiful. I see myself, ugly and beautiful. I accept myself, ugly and beautiful. I am my own sanctuary, and on this Holy ground I meet myself fully and compassionately in shadow and light.

Now, my devotion is centered on evolving all parts of self in renewing connection with my higher one. My devotion is centered on creating a space to become a grander Us, as humans existing intricately and miraculously together. My devotion is centered on discovering what part I wish to play. It is perplexing and unpredictable but most of all, it is fun! And that’s how I know it’s different this time.

I can still see the mountains. I am thousands of feet above them, these sleeping giants. The sun is setting, leaving the peaks ablaze in its wake. Yeah, it’s different this time. I am paying attention.

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