"The older I get, the less impressed I become with originality. These days, I'm far more moved by authenticity. If your work is authentic enough, believe me - it will feel original."
Elizabeth Gilbert, BIG MAGIC
I broke my rule. Kind of. I didn't technically read a book; listening doesn't count, right?
On Monday morning, I discovered I had a single Audible credit to use. With my self-induced ban on reading still in full effect, I decided to suspend my account - no point paying for it until I'm ready to use it. But that one credit lingered and for the first time in months, I lusted. I scrolled through books sitting on my wish list dreaming of lazy afternoons binge reading on the couch under a pile of blankets.
Eventually, I landed on a title and made my purchase. Then I promptly forgot about it.
During the call, Bri - my coach - told me I needed to read a book. There have been plenty of books recommended during these sessions, she even sent me one in the mail, but I was holding to my decision to keep my nose out of someone else's pages. However, this time it was different. The book title rolled off her lips in slow motion, the tone of her voice deep and full of intention.
The book she suggested was the same one I had purchased that very morning. I knew it was time to temporarily break my ban.
On Tuesday, I happened to find myself on the road for an extended period of time so I began listening to Elizabeth Gilbert read BIG MAGIC. There is nothing in this book I don't already know, nothing I haven't already been internally speaking to myself; but hearing it come from someone else's mouth, as if said just for me, was medicine for my ache - the permission I needed to heal.
This is the sweet spot.
I had the best sleep of my life this week. On Tuesday night, I went to bed way too late but instead of being tired and groggy, I curled up next to my husband and giggled and snorted from the pure joy of being close to him while mentally thumbing through our 14-year-old catalog of secret moments. As I leaned away from him and settled into my side of the bed, I closed my eyes with a smile on my face. My entire body was full - of light, life, and energy. I might even say the Holy Spirit. I was floating. It was hard to feel my limbs and appendages; my arms and legs, fingers and toes no longer able to move separately. There was a thickness spreading through my body with every beat of my heart. I understood this to be the wholeness of my being, and I slept fulfilled.
I woke up with the same smile on my face. I cannot help but emanate gratefulness for everything God/The Universe, whatever you want to call him/it, has given to me.
Later, when I got to work, I texted Mat, "I feel like a different person today. In a good way."
"Why do you think that is?"
"Something in me has clicked."
When you have an epiphany, the light bulb shining so bright it might burst, your insides shift. My brain is building new neural pathways. My mind is changing and I am seeing things - I'm seeing myself - in ways I've never seen them - me - before.
In my undoing, I am becoming.
I'm working my way to the core of myself; unearthing the years spent putting on layers - adapting other's thoughts as my own - and dirt is flying, the layers peeling away in long, flimsy remnants. I am revealing myself to myself. I'm no longer living in the confines of rules and labels, conforming to be someone who is just good enough for group-think. I am living outside of those things, breaking down the actions I thought necessary. There is no title, no status when there is only me. My soul is thriving outside of the small, confined spaces I kept it a slave - to please others, to belong, to feel accepted.
The morning I awoke from the best sleep ever, as I undressed and waited for the shower to warm, I stared at my naked body in the mirror and saw strength, resilience, and purity; I saw a new creation.
In reverting back, I am moving forward. This is my rebirth.