Sunday, September 21, 2008

All We Can Do Is Keep Breathing....


It's been a week. I have thought of things I could blog about daily...Sarah Palin, my undying love for Jon Stewart, Modernization and where it is getting us, suffering throughout the world, the happiness of the weddings I photographed this weekend, Ingrid Michaelson's new singles, flying standby, and yes, those longed for empanadas....but I'm not going to tackle anything trivial or controversial today, instead, I want to talk about you.

That's right, the beauty of you.

This week I've realized something that I have always known....a lot of us are in need of healing, a lot of us are really hard on ourselves, a lot of us demand perfection, a lot of us aren't so kind to ourselves, a lot of us have a hard time living in the present moment, a lot of us get weighed down by the cruelties around us, and a lot of us are lacking the love we need...even if just a little bit.

My google reader was at 219 when I got back from Buenos Aires, today it's down to 16. I've been reading about your lives a lot. I've been seeing your paintings about flygirl, your experiences in the dirt, your causes for preserving the land, your fights to see yourself as beautiful, your acknowledgment of your own selfishness, your need to be your own woman, your hurt, your anger, your surprise, your broken hearts, your religious struggles, your desire for love,  the love you have for your kids, the feeling that you might just not be enough of what you need to be and all I can say is wow.

Wow.

The depth and breath of the human soul has been like a cloud swallowing me up and carrying me off this week. There are no words to describe the beauty of you, your soul, your hopes, your dreams, your desires, your intentions, and your struggles.

You are so beautiful to me. Each and everyone of you.

The possibilities of you are endless to me.

This summer Gustav presented me with an idea I haven't been able to shake, and I feel it a good thing to bring it up again. What if this earth is heaven? In thinking this, I have had to use my imagination and I see that I have the ability to see the world with different eyes. In my heaven I see love coming from the trees, love coming from the sky, love coming out of the light. I see love coming from everything around me. Even when we humans get sad or angry, behind these feelings I can see that they are also sending love.

With my new eyes, I've also started to see myself living a new life, a new dream--here is what it consists of:

~A life where I don't need to justify my existence and I am free to be who I really am.

~A life where I have permission to be happy and to really enjoy each moment, free of conflict with myself and others.

~ A life without fear of expressing my dreams.

~A life where I know what I want, what I don't want, and when I want it. I am free to change my life to the way I really want it. I am not afraid to ask for what I need, to say yes or no to anything or anyone.

~ A life without the fear of being judged by others. I no longer rule my behavior according to what others may think about me. I am no longer responsible for anyone's opinion. I have no need to control anyone, and no one controls me either.

~ A life without judging others. A life where I can easily forgive others and let go of the judgments that I have.

~A life where I don't need to be right and I don't need to make anyone else wrong (this one is more of a goal right now,  obviously).

~ A life where I respect myself and everyone else, and they respect me in return.

~ A life where I can live without the fear of loving and not being loved. A life where I am no longer afraid to be rejected, and I don't have the need to be accepted. I can say, "I love you" with no shame or justification. I can walk in the world with my heart completely open and not be afraid to be hurt.


This life is my heaven.


How is your life your heaven right now?


Thank you to each of you for sharing bits and pieces of your journey to heaven. Of the lives you are creating, of the good energy you are putting out there, of your constant love and acceptance of me and those around you. You are making this world into something I am proud to be apart of.


Song of my week: Ingrid Michaelson's "Keep Breathing"---download it now!

31 comments:

ophelia rising said...

Wow, D'Arcy. So much to take it, and so beautifully written.

I suppose that my life is heaven right now, because I am here. There are trees here. A sky to gaze upon. Sunlit days. Shining moon nights. Birds to listen to, mountains to climb, rivers to swim in, laughter to hear, hugs and kisses to give and receive, people to share with, food to eat, dreams to dream every night, wonderful ways to express creativity, conversations to have, oceans to cross, people and animals to love. I love being here. I love this earth, and this life, and I love being here right now. I am so thankful and grateful for this gift, and to share my life with others. This is heaven, truly.

How I needed to be reminded of this! Thank you. xoxo

Jenn said...

Thank you, D'Arcy. You are very right. I really love to see the good in people, but so often we jump to criticize ourselves and others...a constant battle of worth. It is nice and refreshing just to sit back and be thankful and awe-inspired by the beauty of God's good people, of which you opitomize(sp?). This is to truly love others, and most importantly show it. Thanks for all of the love D'Arcy.

smiles4u said...

Wow! Great post...very deep and makes me really think. You have given me much to think about today. And you are so right that each one of us in on our own journey in this life...and the love I have been shown in my journey is mind boggling...and on the flip side the love that I have given out to others has been accepted so graciously. I do believe that we live in a beautiful world...one that has much evil in it,yet so much love and beauty.

And you are so right...all we can do is keep breathing, as we continue on our journeys.

Thank you for being you and sharing your wisdom and insight so honestly and openly...what a gift you have given me today.

mapelba said...

There is a line in a Crowded House song (by Neil Finn who I love, love, love) that goes "if there is hell on earth, there must be heaven too."

Absolutely.

Heaven is connecting to others--like me way over here and you wherever you are reading this.

jomama said...

i love that song, d'arcy. beautiful.
all i can say is that i think you wrote this for me. i mean i know you wrote it for everyone but it really really resonated with me. i'm still crying if you want to know the truth. i've been so sad lately and really i'm having such a hard time figuring some things out. sometimes i feel exactly like what you said. i'm really hard on myself, sometimes i even hate myself, it's so easy for me to think of ways that i'm not enough. all i can think of sometimes is how much i need to change.
but reading this helped me to remember that my life is beautiful right now, too. even in the struggle and the hard times there is beauty and there is truth and there is heaven. they way my kids light up my life is pure joy. looking around the house when it's clean is wonderful. walking around in the cool weather and feeling the rain (i love rain) are little bits of heaven to me.
d'arcy, i can't thank you enough for all that you've given me lately. you are a real light in my life and i'll love you forever for that. you are a kindred spirit to me, and i have very few of those that are in my life permanently. thanks.
my cup runneth over.

Gustav said...

Hi D'Arcy

I just returned from heaven; a fishing trip and a hike in the mountains with my ten year old daughter.

I came back so refreshed and renergised. Yet then the headlines began, the tragic news events of the day, and it began to sap my jubilance.

Your post says it all. Life is a form of heaven but we need to stay focused on the essential and the events that we can control. There is so much beauty right under our nose.

Anyhow, its great to have you back.

Boquinha said...

Beautiful as always, D'Arcy. You have a gift for uttering thoughts that many of us have and that may seem vague and nebulous to us--you are able to put them into words that paint the picture so much more clearly.

I just taught a lesson today and focused on this concept (go figure). When we learn to ease up on being critical toward others, we learn to lighten up with ourselves. When we are mindful and in the moment, peace and love are there.

I truly believe that God/The Universe loves us in all our imperfections. As a parent, this makes sense to me. We love our children ALWAYS and it's not dependent on how "perfect" they are or how "good" they are. We love.

There is too much focus on ideals and perfection rather than mindful living, being in the moment.

Muslim weavers purposely weave a flaw into their prayer rugs to remind them that none of us are perfect--isn't that beautiful?

We are beautiful as we are. I think mindful living shows us heaven all around us.

Great post, D'Arcy. I feel so blessed to have you as a friend.

Alisa said...

Thanks for these thoughts, D'Arcy. At the time Gustav wrote that comment, I thought, and I still think, that there was so much wisdom in that thought.

I needed your post today because I'm quite melancholy. Work is stressful. I'm struggling to find the joy and purpose I'd like to feel in the present moment. I do find snippets of it in conversations with Kevin and other friends, in my garden, in my pets and other creations. But then I get back to huge lists of email at work and a nearly impossible amount of work, and it gets hard again.

At least as I sit here in my dark basement office I can hear (if not see) the rain fall outside, which reminds me there is a bigger picture.

Dottie said...

Yeah D'arcy! This was awesome. You are definitely seeing life with a much broader scope, which then allows you to put everything into perspective.

And it is true what Gustav said. In the LDS faith it talks about earth being cleansed and transformed into a 'celestial glory'. Which means the celestial kingdom is merely a more purified state of where we live right now. The Hindu faith says the same thing. Although there is suffering on a daily basis, heaven, peace, and love can be found even in the worst circumstances. It's a matter of learning how to tune into that frequency and tuning out the rest.

Jessica said...

How would your life be complete without Curry Chicken from our favorite Thai place?
yum :)
Thanks for this post.
It's always good to back away for a moment and get some perspective.

Kate Lord Brown said...

Beautiful as ever D'Arcy. I read a lot of Deepak Chopra years ago, and the one thing that stayed with me was the idea of giving something to everyone you encounter - even if it's just a silent blessing. It's a great aim to go through life giving freely - if everyone did, heaven would be on earth.

Rowena said...

Right back at ya, babe. You rock. This post is pretty heavenish.

I do believe that this earth is both heaven and hell, and we have the choice over which one we want to inhabit.

I can see my everyday being part heaven and part hell, and perhaps it explains why I can manage to finally be painting again (it's been ACTUAL years!) and glory in my kids at the same time that I am entirely isolated in this house and broke worse than at any time since I was a teenager. Heaven and Hell. I can feel a little of the Hell slipping through at night when I am exhausted and lonely, but I just try to remember all the great things that are happening, and I bet when I make it through the tough spots, I will see the amazing leaps and bounds that I have been making. (Can't wait until that happens.)

Rowena said...

And I wish I could read all your comments here, but I am behind and if I want to post my next flying girl I have to get going.

D'Arcy said...

Ophelia-- your words are so beautiful and I can feel your meaning in each one. I'm glad you get your daily glimpses into heaven. And don't worry, that creative streak is ready to strike you again. I can feel it.

D'Arcy said...

Jenn--I agree. Loving ourselves and loving others tends to stem from seeing each person as a child of God with unlimited potential.

D'Arcy said...

smiles4u--it's so hard sometimes to block out the evil and focus on the good. I mean, we have to be a part of this world right? We have to be informed and be active for the good, which means we expose ourselves to lots of negative, but if we can find a way to keep the positive living inside of us, then we have reached success I think.

D'Arcy said...

mapelba--let's keep connecting and reading. I love it. And your life stories amaze me, as does the way in which you paint and capture it. Truly in awe when I read!

D'Arcy said...

jo. we need to talk or chat? when is good? I really have been feeling your sadness lately, I knew it was back and big and I have wanted so much to do something for you. I love you so much and think you are amazing, and so is your awesomely beautiful family.

I agree, girlfriend, kindred spirits in a way I never thought possible all those years ago working at BYU together.

D'Arcy said...

Gustav, you are SO good at finding your heavenly spaces on this earth and not taking any of them for granted. You are teaching me to do the same, my friend. Thank you.

D'Arcy said...

Boquinha, I feel the same way. Our imperfections are what make us who we are!! I am so tired of living a life where I feel like I am never good enough or pretty enough or stylish enough or rich enough. These are just a poor man's game for keeping people slaves to their egos and not rising above to see how great a creation they really are.

Let's get that phone call in soon!

D'Arcy said...

Alisa, I have also felt your struggle. I know it is so hard for you and yet, you never really complain, you beautifully and gracefully go about your work, though it is so difficult for you right now, and instead you talk about growth and beauty on your blog. I just love your courage, girl. You amaze me and you are so intelligent, every conversation we have I always hope I can keep up!

Let's get some painting in soon, we need that Quaker silence and relaxation!

D'Arcy said...

Dottie--let's keep tuning into that frequency! This Sunday will be a good start to keep us focused. You're awesome friend!

D'Arcy said...

Jessica, that Gang Massaman curry IS indeed heaven! I am so glad we got that lunch in. We need to schedule another one soon. Your boys are so great, I have loved watching your latest blogs about them!

D'Arcy said...

Kate, I remember being so touched by that thought as well. Giving each person good energy and kindness. It's so hard to remember this when things don't go our way. That's the true test of character.

When I find myself getting frustrated about the length of the line at the store, or if the waitress is taking a long time I just remember a saying I heard long ago...something along the lines of only small people get angry over small things. I want to be a great person, not a small person.

D'Arcy said...

Rowena,

that thought was totally in my mind. our choice to choose our own heaven or hell. I think for many it is a choice, and then I also see many who suffer from depression who really have no choice over it. Life isn't always fair, heaven doesn't always seem that close, but I do think we are all responsible for creating heavenly moments to keep us going to the next one.

And I am serious about buying a painting! You need some new art supplies and I want a painting of Flygirl in my bedroom!!!!!

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

I guess I am the tag-a-long on this post again. I just want to add that, while I am grateful for all the beauty and heaven-sent blessings around us, I am also grateful that the seventy or so odd years we spend on this earth is not the ONLY heaven we will know.

We have neighbors who are currently counting down the days of their baby's life (he has been in the hospital since birth--now three months--and is expected to live only a few more days) then last week the father of the baby found out his mother was killed in a car crash. So...while there is much to appeciate in this life, I am so relieved to have the belief that a much, much BETTER existance awaits us. An existence without sorrow or pain or loneliness or separation. (I know my neighbors are clinging to that belief right now...it's pretty much the only thing getting them through.)

boylingivylilac said...

My life is heaven more so today, thanks to the moment my life or my expectations of life came tumbling down last year with the birth and death of our daughter Angela. She lived and died inside of me.

I can still remember driving along a tree lined street and being struck by the greens in those leaves...they were alive!! And that is what I celebrate now, everything that lives, grows and enriches its surroundings by its presence.

I loved your comment on having love coming from the trees. I see the world around me now, differently than I did before. This is a gift for all of us. Rob and I watched the local high school put on the "Fantastiks" and I loved it. I especially loved the final song. There is a line in there that says, "Without a hurt, the heart is hollow." Amen to that.

Love you D'Arcy of Bois D'Arcy.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
There are places where I can sway with the leaves blowing gently in the wind and feel completely part of that moment, or being in the presence of those I love so much I almost disattach from myself and observe as an outsider. Yet there are times when I feel the pain of the earth, of what we are doing to each other, of what we are leaving our children to inhabit, and I feel little joy in those moments. Sometimes simple melancholy becomes me, helps me find my voice, or guides me to places like this. I appreciate the Ride is sometimes rough, and other times beautiful. And it is mine alone never to be duplicated, so ultimately must be lived to fullest in all senses. Kia ora.
Aroha,
Robb

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

This almost made me cry D'Arcy.
And I never, ever cry. (Strong, independent women don't.... but maybe they should... obviously I need to re-think that....)

Thank you for posting this. I think I need to really read this again and just soak in the thoughts.

YOU are an amazing woman.

Sugar said...

Thank you so much for this post.

I was walking around San Francisco with my City Girl and little ones over the weekend. It was great fun, but I remember that I had made some promises to myself that I had long forgotten. Although I have "reactivate" many dreams, there were some that I thought I couldn't return to. I spent a lot of time thinking during this last road trip. And I remember... I remember everything... it is great not to be afraid anymore. I'm so thankful to have come along your path to meet you during this time in your life, too. You will be a friend to me for a long time... I just know it.

D'Arcy said...

Sugar, I just know it and feel it too. Even if I have been really crazy busy and spacey these past two weeks.

I love seeing you and City Girl in San Fran. You are already an amazing woman, and the goals you have for your future make me delighted that you are including me along for the ride.