Validation comes from within. That is a recurring theme as I have had many external reminders. I’ve been living in a beautiful paradox. There are no referees in Paradox. There are only signs – contradictory of course. These signs remind you that at every turn you MUST live in the present moment. Dream in the future. Lament in the past, but LIVE in the present. There really is no other way. And because of my ability to live in the present moment (which is a brand new phenomenon) the paradoxes have surrounded my life like a murder of Monarch butterflies.*
There’s nothing pleasant about exposing the heart in the most vulnerable way imaginable, I make reference to both metaphorical and physical. Yet, in a metaphorical way I feel as though I can understand the Ecstasy of St. Theresa (a personal favorite).
Notice the billowing of marble that is floating in space. Where is the attachment? Notice the pleasure on the angel’s face as she is about to pierce the heart of St. Theresa. This is why Bernini is one of the greatest sculptors of all time. He can manipulate space. In my view no Creator would ever ask for more and yet Bernini delivered devotion with every veneration.
When I imagine my heart being vulnerable, I imagine that St. Theresa has paved my way. She inspires me to love to my fullest, deepest, and purest every day.
I continue to be challenged to live in the present moment. My doctor ordered a blood test for malignant cancer this week. It shocked me that I was having the blood draw for CA 125 and not my mom. He told me I had ALL the factors that would give a false positive but that a negative was always a negative and that’s what we were aiming for. -Deep breath- -Deeper breath- -Big exhale-
I’m not particularly stoic or resilient as anyone in my family will tell you. There have been times that I have shamefully had to be scraped off of the sidewalk by those who love me and taken to bed. What does that mean? That means I lost my shit and forgot about the present moment. I failed to honor the presence of those around me. I failed to enjoy the laughter and the love. It means that I fed the fear inside of me to the point that those I loved had to rescue me from me. That’s a terrible feeling.
While I waited the two days for the results to come in, I managed my happiness like a medication aide managing the drugs in the detox wing of the hospital. I am so very proud that I emerged completely unscathed. This may be on of my greatest accomplishments to date. Oh, and the test was very negative. Just a crazy scare to make me even more grateful than I already was – which seemed a little out of reach.
Validation comes from within even as I met my ex-husband in the milk aisle of my local H-E-B. We talked for 45 minutes. I was honestly happy because by the time the conversation was over it was noon. Noon in Texas on a Sunday means only one thing: Alcohol is for sale. After our conversation, it felt like therapy to go down the beer aisle to pick something out because I was no longer married to an alcoholic.
The conversation would have been cathartic, but more than a year since our last conversation, I was not in need of a catharsis. It made me smile when he said all of the things I always wanted to hear while we were married.
“Oh Sweetness, you are such a good woman.”
“You were an amazing wife.”
That’s all that I ever really needed to know. Sadly for twelve years, I knew both of these things, and yet I waited for his validation. Why did I do that? You could look deep into my past and write a book about my older brothers, my father’s death, or anything else that squirmed under that rock down by the river. But really, the truth is that I didn’t trust myself.
As a child I could not ever swing on MY swing in my own yard without the fear of being abducted. It was a real fear that had the face of a human as a child but the face of an extraterrestrial as a teenager. As an adult I do not fear abduction from a being of any kind. I fear separation from myself. I fear separation from, my very loosely defined, God.
That was my problem before. And as numerous other paradoxes travel next to me like the Valkyries, I am humbled to a place of knowing that validation comes from within.
*All animals belong to a group. A “covey” of quail, a “school” of fish, “murder” of crows, “kaleidoscope” of butterflies. It’s fun mixing them up. It’s confusing and funny to me.