Cheryl Strayed, Tiny, Beautiful Things
I wrote a couple of days ago about the importance of journal writing in my life, how this practice has at once healed and shaped me. In exploring my inner life, I’ve arrived at truths which feel solid and substantial because, rather than having read them in a self-help book, I’ve lived them. And these truths, when collected and reflected upon, have the power to transform.
As I come to the end of a journal, I read through and collect all the things I’ve learned, all the “AHA moments” I’ve experienced, and I make a list at the back of the book. I think of these lists as my “Collected Wisdom.” Whenever I am struggling in my life, I return to those lists, reminding myself about what I know to be true for me.
- I am responsible for my own happiness and fulfillment
- I must always listen to my body and my wise inner voice
- My freedom and independence are gifts
- Love wholeheartedly
- Be receptive to the gifts of the Universe
- Live from possibility, not fear
It is this learning that I return to during difficult times and when I have difficult decisions to make. This last week, it was my body I needed to listen to. For some time it had been telling me “no,” but I didn’t want to listen. I didn’t know if it was fear speaking or wisdom. “Hang in there,” I kept thinking, “you might just be scared.” But at some point, I realized that I had to listen to my body, that that voice was getting louder within me. I had to trust myself.
As things have unfolded, it’s becoming clearer to me that my body was right, that I did the right thing by heeding that little voice. It seems crazy to me that, at my age, I still don’t fully trust myself. But I’m learning.