I've been wondering what is important in this life.
In this wondering I realized the one thing I have avoided my entire life was control. In that avoidance of control I have not allowed any one thing to be so important it has controlled me. Some have tried to control my honor with money; some have tried to control my creativity with power and money; some have tried to control my expression with influence and promises.
All this I have avoided. Because I have avoided this control I have been homeless, penniless, and friendless. I have never been alone. Not just because of my trusty sidekick Dog but because I have had my internal guidance - mostly. And now, my man is by my side. That was such an unforeseen blessing I will take a moment to feel gratitude for his existence.
Having an internal guidance wasn't always the case. I realized I did not have an internal guidance when I was 17. On my own for the first time and I realized my internal voice sounded like my mater's. My inner voice was absent. I didn't have a thought that wasn't tinged with her venom, her harsh criticism or her out-right hatred for me. I had no idea what was right or wrong for me.
When I began this life, thrown into it without the simple knowledge of how to open a checking account, I had $300 and one change of clothes which was my work uniform. More than the lack of material goods and lack of home I did not have an honor code. There was no bottom line for me. My judgment had not grown.
I had only known what actions and words would cause violence and or shouting. There was a formula for avoiding outcome, but it was sure-fire.
There is much to consider from then till now, but without writing a book, I will summarize... I have never allowed myself to be so controlled since. I didn't realize this was the under current of my actions and choices until today when I asked, "what controls me?" Why didn't the money make me stay? Why didn't those words make me choose differently? Why didn't that threat make me cower?
I have tested the waters, learned what my conscious has to say, found my bottom line by testing where I begin and end and come away knowing more about what I am attracted to and what repels me.
I have since maintained an inner dialogue about my surroundings that is true for me, even when the rest of the world did not see things the same way. I have stood up against the group of "friends" when they shunned me and stood up against society when "their way" wasn't my way. I have told my truth to others who did not want to hear it and the cleave was so vast the friendship broke apart.
I can say I have not allowed myself to be controlled from that first lesson. I did not see this undercurrent of desire for freedom until today.
Today, with my little soapery, amazing co-conspirators in the art of soap molding - Soap Witches and Soap Sisters - I have created a world I can live in with honor and independence. I now have an inner dialogue so clear and true that when expressed is seen with as much delight as created it.
Sometimes it's good to have context to understand the full measure of gratitude for living through difficult times. We all have strife. Have you found your moment of gratitude?