Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Dirty Little Secret

I woke this morning, in my bed, to a room filled with sunlight. I looked around at all the things that are familiar and loved. My eyes lingered on one of my large, favorite, pieces of art. I felt the pillow cradling my head. I noted how soft the sheets felt against my skin. I've looked at this room most every morning for almost five years now. I designed the room. I furnished it. I made all the choices that created it. It's a happy room, a nurturing room.

And not for the first time, I've felt as though it belongs to someone else, like I'm an over-night guest waking there. And once again, my dirty little secret whispered in my ear. I laid there safe, in a beautiful environment thinking, "This is not my life..." Once again, the following thought is, "Holy god, Holly, you are so friggin' ungrateful!"

Have you ever felt like that? Like the life you are living is not yours and that you've been waiting for ages for your real life to start? Like you're waiting for some spark of awareness and understanding that will put you on the path to what it is you're destined to have, do, be?

Not that you have delusions of grandeur and think your current life is beneath you. Not that who you are now, where you live, what you do isn't good or's just not your life. Like dashing out of a room having mistakenly grabbed the wrong coat. It looked just like yours. It fits, but it's not yours.

I admit, that when I have this feeling again, I feel like a fraud, a sham. So many think I'm wise and insightful about life issues and spiritual matters; perhaps I am. But, when this one pops makes me uncomfortable. Maybe no one should ever listen to me again...because honestly? What do I know if I don't know enough to live authentically?

I can only tell you that I've felt off and on like this for years. At certain times for most of my life. Like I'm waiting for something to start. But, it wasn't until after Doog left and I began my 11 year sojourn of living on my own, that I became completely aware that I feel this way at times. Many nights I'd lie in the dark and think as I drifted toward sleep, "Well, you just went through another day waiting for your life to begin...maybe tomorrow..."

The feeling of living someone else's life and not mine is so very acute at times. And, while I can now accurately name the condition, the cure remains elusive. The answer to what would make that go away and evaporate is still unanswered. What would it take for me to walk each day in my life? What would it take for me to joyously scream, "Yes! This is my life! I'm not walking around in someone else's shoes, this is mine! It's grand! I am so in love with my life!!!"

What is it that I'm waiting for? Would I even know it if I saw it? I sat at the computer this morning, to read these words waiting for me- "Perhaps wisdom lies not in the constant struggle to bring the sacred into daily life but in the recognition that, we are always on sacred ground."

They were penned by this woman...Rachel Naomi Remen. She's a medical doctor. No, strike that; she's grander than that. She has spent her life learning to be a Healer of Humans. I had the privilege of meeting and spending time with her about 10 years ago. She was the guest speaker at the inauguration of our conference center that we built at Franklin Square Hospital Center in Baltimore.

At that time, Dr. Remen, or Rachel as she insisted on being called, had recently written a wonderful book, Kitchen Table Wisdom. If you're not familiar with it, I'd highly recommend that you give it a read. My autographed edition is one of my prized books. One that I wouldn't let go of, but I'd be happy to lend to you.

So in the midst of trying to bury my dirty little secret, stuff it back down yet again, hearing Rachel's words doesn't remove it, but I feel as though a friend reached out to gently remind me that I'm looking wrongly at things. To lovingly suggest that maybe I need to change my focus about what I'm expecting, feeling, doing, not doing, worrying so much about...

Maybe a friend dropped into my life today to remind me that this life I'm creating is my design and that I only feel like it isn't mine when I lose my focus. A friend who reminds me that I am safely standing on sacred ground. Suggesting that I wisely accept the miracle of its ordinariness. Reminding me that I'm not a spectator, but the creator of my life. I'm living not just watching.

And, perhaps saying my secret out loud like I just did...

...can open the door and let in some light; set me free to move forward and reconnect with myself and this sacred life of mine. Again. Let in the light that evaporates more dirty little secret for me. Well, at least for today.

Namaste' Till Next Time,
All images courtesy of the Internet...except the last one which I took at one of the Missions de San Antonio.


Anonymous said...

I applaud your courage, Holly! (Because of the whole depression thing), I empathize with not feeling like your life is your own. I'm not saying you have the same disease, just that I realize that others have that feeling, too, from time to time. I think it takes alot for a person to say it out loud. Maybe, we keep shoving the feeling back because we feel an intuition that the resulting change from exploring this feeling could be bad. I don't know. It seems that no matter how hard we preach and try to live a zen quality of life, there's something in us to pop up and cause such a conflict. Maybe it's the "human factor". I would really like to learn more and hear more discussion on this topic. Thanks so much for the book suggestion.

Ribbon said...

Holly... I'm not exactly sure I know what you're saying here.
I'm reading your words, but I'm not totally relating to the experience.
Is it possibly that you don't feel deserving of your happiness?

You're generous and this makes me think that you're happy.... but is it a sense of ... it's too good to be true?
If I'm on the right track then I would say.... Holly life does not need to be difficult. Life is the extent of our imagination.

I'm going to reread your post.
Thanks for sharing

best wishes always
Ribbon x

Ribbon said...

PS... I'm here via firefox :-)

THANK YOU... xoxo

Eileen said...

Holly, this morning I too was transported back to our day with Rachel. I suspected you, too, would feel a little like pinching yourself to believe that we did actually have time with her. I had suggested her as a guest to Charlie but thinking that there would be such a slim chance we could afford her or that her schedule would have time for us. But the universe provided and what a wonderful memory for us all. I could so identify with your post today ... I so often ask, how did I get "here", what happened to my life, is this it, I am "real" or "pretending" to get to the end? I will pull my copy of her book out today and ponder many of the wisdoms again ... so, let's "get real" together today. Love you.

Sara said...

Holly, I have been there too. It used to scare me a little but now I try and look at things like this as a sign of sorts. Like you said, maybe it is a sign that I need to focus more. Or maybe I am being offered a glimps into something else. I could go on about some of my most recent theories, but that is for another time and place. One more reason I wish you lived close enough for us to get together for a tea and discuss such miraculous things. :)

I am going to pick that book up next time I am at the library or book store. Looks like something I would enjoy. Thank you for suggresting it.


Peaches said...

...waiting for your life to begin... I have had this feeling. Sometimes it feels like I should be doing something that I am not...but what? Like I need to start down a path...that the crossroads have come around again, if only I could see it.
So, my feelings, my intuition, for you...after having this thought you found comfort in a book. A book, Holly. Write a book. Publish it.
I want to buy it now...put me on the waiting list.

Breeze said...

What if that's the secret though? What if being a witness to your life is exactly what you are supposed to be. In all of the sacred readings I've devoured over the years, that seems to be the goal of those who wish to be enlightened, to transend. To be outside of all the trappings, that are not you, but simply surround you.

What if standing outside of your life, looking in, is a gift, what if it's not that you don't belong, it's that you can look and judge and make changes accordingly. What if the feeling of disgruntlement it leaves you with is not because you are outside of your life for a moment but because your heart actually wants to be outside, looking in and you are unable to stay there.

This is just a theory, a different way of looking at things, but what if....

Take care and thanks for sharing


Debra She Who Seeks said...

All healers are wounded healers.

beth said...

oh I've been there, too !

and usually what happens is that I start thinking of the lives of my friends or my sister or a blogger...

and then I whack myself in the head thinking how crazy it would be to have any other life than what's been handed to me or what I've created...

even the ugly stuff....I own's's my life and I'm here with my boxing gloves to duke it out in the times I don't like and to drink wine with it when things are wonderful !!!

hugs to you sweetie...

anne h said...

I read your blog and love it - we share a common theme - seeking, learning, all that.
The ego always asks. The Truth already just KNOWS.

Sarah said...

Wonderful post Holly!! I have felt this way..different but similar. I spent many years waiting for things to happen, go right, someone to fix things etc. When I finally got fed up with the waiting..I started doing all those things..well little steps not leaps. They turned into more steps then confident steps. I guess I feel more like my life is my life now than ever before. I struggle with waiting for it to fall apart at times now and again - but it's better.
Here are hug hugs and amazement for how honest this post was!! Then again - you always amaze me girl. Here is to feeling comfortable in our skin and lives!! Love, Sarah

joyce said...

Dear Holly I'm glad you wrote about it. I can't say I've felt that exact way, but we all have our feelings of inadequcy and insecurity, and while blogging often helps us appreciate the beauty in life, by bringing words to it, I think it should also help us through our trials. Like a giant support group.
And your timing was good, just last night I was thinking, what if we all told each other our darkest secret about ourselves....I don't think I would have the courage.

Kavindra said...

I think your spiritual wisdom comes from your authenticness and honesty and big generous heart - oh yeah, and your sense of humor. Knowing your secret doesn't lessen your wisdom or wonderfulness in my eyes, but increases it, because I know you have struggles like me and all of us, and yet manage to be so big and giving and real.

But, I would like to add, I believe your real life could start if you would go ahead and move in next to me. I've got a big coffee pot just waiting for you...

Joanna Jenkins said...

Dear Holly, I hope this "knock on your door" helps set you free to embrace whatever it is you feel is lacking sometimes. And I hope you know in your heart how amazing I, and I'm pretty sure, all of your readers, think you are.

I totally related to your post today. I've stood at life's fork in the road many times over the years and wondered "Is this all there is?"-- Sometimes I think I'll go in one direction or the other and take the leap of faith to "find/do/achieve" whatever I'm searching for. Other days I think I'll just stand there in the middle of the road and wait to get hit by a bus and do nothing :-)

My secret is very similar to yours. I've always thought doubting myself was part of life, why I go to therapy, and that I'm a work in progress. But life presses on and I just do the best I can.

I'm going to pick up the book you mentioned. And I'm with Peaches- I think YOU have a book in you too! xoxo

Mel said...

For the second time this week, I feel like your post was written just for is it, that you can get so deeply into my head and my heart, Dear One?

Much I'd like to much....but I think it requires that big pot of coffee at Kavindra's house...*grin* I wonder if she invited Kali...

Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your Truth. I can relate to so much of this, it frightens me a little bit...but mostly it comforts me -- it's another dot connected...a feeling of not being so alone in all of this....

~love, love, love~

cinner said...

Holly, I think we have all been there and it is only natural to sometimes want more for your life.When I had to quit work because of my illness and quit driving and quit going out in the evening I thought just........lovely! When I finally started looking at all I could do then it started to become clearer. I too think you have a book in you. I will say this you have made a huge difference in my life and maybe God connects us in blogland, know this you are loved...without lifes struggles we would not be living! big hug cinner

Big Pissy said...

What a wonderful post, Holly! So timely for so many of us. I will definitely look for that book. It sounds like something I could benefit from. :)

The Fragrant Muse said...

This is a marvelous post, Holly. Really gave me something to think about! I love Kitchen Table Wisdom!

Hey, I've got blogger boogers. I can't access anyone's email from their profile. Can you please send me your email address to to I can write you? Thanks Holly!

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