This past weekend was my three year anniversary of my list of dreams. I decided that like a marriage anniversary I would celebrate June 10th as the day I made a commitment to have a deeper relationship with myself and life. I took the day off and drove to the ocean with the plans to do some hiking, spend the night in Sausalito, California, and then the next day at a spa. The day was perfect: a cool breeze, bright sunlight, and empty trails. The heavy rains of the last month created lush greenery and an abundance of pink, purple, yellow, and blue wildflowers. It was like I was hiking in a postcard. As I walked up and down the hills, I began to think how many people put so much energy into their relationships with others, their jobs, their commitments, and yet they don't spend the time to deepen their relationship with themselves. I have many friends right now going through break-ups of marriages, long term relationships, or they are newly single. Instead of being alone, they rush ahead to online dating, a new intense sexual relationship, or they move from one person to the next afraid to be alone.
Why is it that as humans we fear being alone? When I ended my relationship of eight years, one of the catalyst to my list, I decided that I wanted a partnership where I was whole and complete within myself and the other person the same so that when we came together we overflowed. I'm curious how people who rush ahead to a new relationship before they've even mourned the loss or dealt with the pain of the past can come to a relationship not carrying the baggage. If a relationship starts because we are afraid to be alone, I think in many ways we will cling to that relationship even when it goes badly because that fear remains.
Along my walk I saw a lion mountain cub. He ran up the trail, stopped, looked back at me and then took off. I was close enough to see the softness of his fur on his thick ears. Then the realization dawned on me that where there's a cub, there's a momma who wouldn't want me around. I looked to the hills above me and didn't see anything. I stopped and I put my trust in something higher than me. I'm not trying to get religious on you here, but the one thing that I've found through this entire process of going after my dreams, is a faith that something bigger than me is guiding me along the way. I don't know how my dreams will come true, yet they do and they come in unusual ways. I began to walk with loud stomps so that I wouldn't come up quickly on the animals and within ten minutes I felt safe.
Lately I haven't felt safe in life. I've been scared that the rest of my dreams won't come true, that the book I've written and put so much of my heart and soul into will never get off the ground, and I've been hurting over a few interpersonal relationships. In all of this, I've been praying, saying what I want, how I want it to happen, and pushing what I believe is right for me. In this moment of my hike, I felt something akin to surrender. That life has never gone the way I thought that it should, it's always come bigger and better than I could've imagined. I can force my will and expectations on my life acting like a child who wants candy for breakfast or I can let go and realize that life has this divine miraculousness to it that I can't even imagine.
It was at that moment that I realized that one of my dreams came true - to find true trust in a higher power. My life may never be what society deems successful. I may never live the perfect picture I've envisioned. But when I let go and become grateful for all that I have - which is so much - a serenity envelopes me and I know that life is just meant to be enjoyed in the moment. More than that there's a feeling that I'm never alone. And who says that an idea of perfection is right. This picture of San Francisco at night came out so neat because it wasn't the clear vision of the city, but a scrambled mess of light.