Friday, August 31, 2012

Is There Ever a Cage?

Being stressed feels one way, and being relaxed feels a different way. I prefer to feel relaxed. : )

Today has been something of a surprise to me. I simply feel happy, so much less wound up in tension than I have the last few days. I almost had forgotten what my day to day life feels like, and so, today has taken me a bit unaware. Hmm. What do I DO in a normal day? What do I think about? What goals do I have? I have been so completely focused on yesterday's outcome that I am a bit nonplussed that life has gone on.

Which I really should know by now that it always does. So, I'm doubly silly for being unaware!

I've been mixing some simple little errands with processing yesterday's decision and what it means in my life. So on one hand, I put gas in the car, started a load of rumpled towels, made food, dropped off at schools and went to Farmers Market. On the other hand, I've been composing and sending out grateful announcements and thank yous to the many, many friends who have helped me get to this point. I've had dozens of people lend support and write me letters over the years, so I need to update them and thank them now. I also spent a good bit of time researching legal issues online, trying to make sense of exactly where I stand now.

I have to say:  it looks EXCELLENT!!! Basically, my plea has been overturned and changed to not guilty, and the whole thing dismissed. It is almost -- almost -- as if it never was. But of course, it was, and it changed me greatly, and, honestly, I'm pretty appreciative of most of those changes in my life. One thing led me to another along this path, and for the most part, I am pretty contented with what I've learned and been privileged to experience. I don't know if I can honestly say that given a choice I would have opted for all of my past, but on the other hand, there are many, many parts of it that now that I've been through them and survived and succeeded, I wouldn't want to give them up. Huh. Good thing I don't have to actually make that choice isn't it?

Following the law is never an issue for me, so regardless of what happens from here, I don't expect it to be an issue that holds me back either way. Which means that the future is opening up in front of me. And... it is a little bit daunting.

For years now, I've wanted to be able to vote again. Today, I finally sat down and did my diligent research. And guess what I found out? I CAN vote again. I COULD have voted as soon as my probation ended and I was in good status. So for years now, I've been longing to exercise a right that I already had. Just my own misperceptions and illusions have been holding me back.

That's quite a metaphysical lesson.

All those times I've walked past the ragged people posted outside of supermarkets or Target, their clipboard full of forms clutched in their hands, and their voice ringing out from behind their card tables: Excuse me, ma'am? Are you a registered voter?

And I've been telling them no! I've been feeling bad about them. I try to avoid them, or I tell them I'm not a citizen. Or I just walk past quickly. But I was feeling bad. And instead I could have been feeling righteous. Indignant. Informed. Involved. I could have explained that I was declining to sign their petitions for my own political reasons, INSTEAD of feeling like that was a privilege denied to me. Like a freak. (With, you know, a lot of company in freakdom.)

I remember that once I went to a Tarot reading and the card selected for me was a beautiful white bird. It was trapped and resting in a cage that hung in a radiant sky. But the cage had no bottom. The bird within was there only by choice, or by refusing to see that freedom was available to it at any time.

I consider that message now, in light of these discoveries in my life. I have the unnerving feeling of my whole life opening before me. Oh my gosh, I think. What do I want to DO with the rest of my life? What am I going to BE? Before, I was able to feel like I only had certain choices available to me. I have succeeded greatly by doing the best I could with the circumstances I had. But, now... what if those limits are gone? If I could be anything, what do I want to be? How best can I serve others and occupy myself? Anything? Really, anything?? Geez.

It's interesting to see how willingly we adopt limits that we hold ourselves to. How we rule out possibilities for ourselves. It's been wise for me, of course, to be mindful of legal restrictions, and to be scrupulous in following them. It's second nature for me now to be aware of those at any moment of the day, and check myself for continual compliance. But, wow, what if those go away? What if I really, truly become FREE? How much of what I think are restrictions are really just the illusions of my own mind? Have I become accustomed to thinking of myself with a badgered victimhood that is just my own excuses?

Man, I have to think about all of this. What do I want to be when I grow up?

And, first, what are we even going to do for the holiday weekend? My ability to plan ahead didn't even go that far into the future! : )

No comments: