It’s early morning.
Still dark and chilly outside.
Your alarm goes off – Beep! Beep! Beep!
Do you wake up to Wonder or Thunder?
Hit Snooze, stay under the cozy covers for a few more winks, feeling that typical human feeling of slight dread (or heavy dread) for the day ahead …
Do you hop out of bed, open your eyes, bless yourself while realizing that you’re one of the lucky ones, the humans that woke up, that have eyes to see and ears to hear and a day unfolding before you with limitless possibilities to be a blessing to every human you meet along the way?
For many of us, our mornings are a bit closer to the first option than the second.
Our mornings resemble Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, with all the good intentions in the world, yet somehow facing day after day with one day much like the next, unable to break out of our ruts and that feeling of slight dread or something being not quite right.
I used to be much more inclined to wake up far closer to option one than two. My first thoughts would be more Ugh! than Ahh! More yuck than yay, more filled with thunder over wonder.
I’ve been reading a lot lately. I’m drawn to inspirational books. The past few weeks, books on the Stoic Philosophy have been showing up. I’ve been on this inner-outer path long enough to know when to pay attention.
Stoics start their day with option two. In the land of the Stoics, option one isn’t an option. The Stoic Philosophy is one of making the best of life. It’s all about keeping your chin up and being oh so grateful that you’re part of the land of the living. It’s seeing life through very realistic rose colored glasses. It’s not spiritual bypassing or Pollyanna in any way. It’s more of a belief system centered around choosing how we see the world and how we choose to be in the world.
Another book that came across my path recently was “Untamed” by Glennon Doyle (thank you Julia Turner for that one!) Let’s just say, for much of her life, Glennon wasn’t exactly following the Stoic way of life. Glennon was firmly in the dread camp, numbing her way through life. In “Untamed,” she’s very real and raw about how she experienced life and what she calls, “The Ache” – or that unrelenting feeling deep within that something is horribly wrong with us.
I know the Ache all too well. The Ache was like an uninvited Siamese twin who wouldn’t leave my side for much of my life.
Glennon talks about the light of morning and the dread she would feel when the sun rose. The only time she felt comfortable was during the dark hours when she would drink and drink and numb herself into oblivion. She would wake up in the morning, feeling dreadful, barely able to function. Each day would be a repeat of option one.
Glennon’s life would change dramatically upon finding out she was pregnant. She would choose life, hers and her baby’s, and find a new way to live.
I’m not sure the Ache ever goes away. I suppose there are those rare enlightened beings who don’t experience the Ache.
Eventually, Glennon learned to coexist with the Ache. She also learned to cultivate her inner Knowing, the voice of her intuition, which became her compass and her superpower guiding her to a life vastly different, not perfect, still imperfect, but a life that’s true to her first and foremost.
What Glennon learned is the Ache is greatest when we’re living someone else’s life and not our own.
I’ve learned many of the lessons Glennon shares in her book much like her – the hard way. One of the greatest lessons of all time is that you’re far more likely to wake up each morning to option number one – to dreading, resisting, escaping or numbing life away – when you’re living a life that’s not your own.
When you’re asleep and not awake.
Stoics are awake. They wake up with purpose and passion. They wake up grateful for the day that lies ahead, thinking of all the ways they can both bless and be blessed throughout their day.
Midlife is a blessing.
Midlife is permission – permission to be yourself.
Midlife is a wake up call – the only way to wake up to a life of joy and your own creation is option number two where no snooze button is necessary.
Cheers Beauties. What’s your option?