Come Alive

by justine

Found this quote via this video:

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive” ~Howard Thurman

Am I alive? I mean, biologically yes, but alive in the sense of passion, excitement, presence? I don’t know. The past 8 yrs or so have been pretty rough. It’s taken all I can do to keep my head above water. On paper I look great – job, boyfriend, apartment, financially stable, friends, dog etc – but internally, oh, it’s a wasteland. My internal compass has been winging around as if magnetic fields other than true North exist. I ran one way (Boston) and then the other (LA), like a dog patrolling a fence. And then I found myself here – perfect life listing and utterly paralyzed.

It’s only been recently that I’ve begun to feel a shift. A common feeling is “I don’t know what I want because I don’t know what I like”. I started to doubt if I’ve ever known what I want / like. My intuition used to be a spot on guide and now, nothing. It’s as if my authentic self, my intuition, just gave up one day. “It doesn’t matter what I tell you b/c you’re not listening anyway” it must’ve thought. And oddly, isn’t that my one of my destructive, repetitive thoughts when I’m feeling not-so-sure?

“It doesn’t matter what I say, it doesn’t matter how I feel, because you’re not listening anyways.”

What an isolating thought, especially for someone like me who thrives on communication and emotional connection (Sun in Pisces, Moon in Scorpio, Venus and Mecury in Aquarius will do that). Whether it’s true or not is not the issue. What matters is, I externalize this feeling because I, myself, stopped listening to me.

So, what makes me come alive? I’m not sure but I have inklings: conversations, stories, astrology, entertaining, expressing myself, animals, my sister, books, music, healthy food, being outside. Talking with people. Engaging people. Feeling emotional connections. Putting myself first. Allowing myself to grow, finally. To stop being stagnant as if the decisions that got me here were mistakes. As if being here in LA at my current job with my boyfriend and all my emotional baggage is somehow wrong.

How can I think that? How did the bar get set so high? When did life become a struggle to fit in and be perfect and not listen to myself? To instead shove myself down deep, to be proud that I was so… on top of things. I’ve been well aware that the big ticket items (marriage, house) won’t make me happy and yet I still see my happiness as out there. I think not going to a yoga class, not writing, not doing what I want to do first is honorable. Oh, look how I suffer. Look how good I am.

And it’s bullshit. Nothing matters more than actually living life. Getting up early to meet Mike for yoga and then having breakfast together could be the perfect day (it was!) and yet, even two weeks ago I not only would’ve experienced intense anxiety during this “fun”, thinking “I should really be doing something else” but I would’ve not.gone.at.all. I wouldn’t even have allowed myself the opportunity to try, to sit with my anxiety, to enjoy my own life.

So, right now, with my new perspective of life coming into view, anything has the potential to make me come alive. And I’m open to it.

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What makes you come alive, dear reader?

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