Compensations

“Life has its compensations,” my great-grandmother used to say.

Embracing life as is in the moment does not mean giving up.

Until such day as we humans inhabit an egalitarian system where every individual truly has identical currency, identical opportunity matched to their physical and mental capabilities, certain things will never be, can never be for all of us. This does not mean we failed to try, failed to dream, or live in an enclosure of self-limiting beliefs. Life and possibility shines all around no matter what, no matter who we are.

The older I become, certain things become more likely. I will likely never know what it’s like to raise a young child with a supportive partner.

I will likely never know what it is to parent a healthy child between ages 4 to 6. Yet, I can lend a supportive ear to other parents going through what I did.

I may never own a home in my lifetime or earn enough to travel how I want, financially support others in need or serve others in a way I might like. This does not mean I’ll stop working toward goals.

I do not understand how people who are good for each other find one another and more importantly stay with one another. That does not mean I’ll stop being good to me.

A friendly dog brushes my jacket in greeting on the trail. I forget and later touch my jacket, then later my eye. My eye swells shut for hours and I am reminded again of the grief that my life can never include close companionship of dogs, cats, horses, most legged animals on the planet. Yet, by some magical accident my next-door neighbors are sheep, lambs, deer and rabbits I get to enjoy and not touch.

Life is beautiful. Every day I touch beauty. I am nurtured by the texture of yarn I knit, like animal’s fur. I have kept fish alive for decades. By some happy accident of circumstance I have been able to live surrounded by nature’s wealth with basic needs met.

And I have been gifted responsibility for someone I most admire. I can hardly believe what she understands about self-esteem, hard work, balance, gratitude, not worrying about what is to come, and honoring that small voice that says, “I want to live an extraordinary life.” I tell her, “You already are extraordinary.”

  *    *   *

This post is my way of expressing response to someone who just met me saying, “you must not have wanted it that much,” to many of the things I do not have, and a bit of push-back to all the self-help content about limiting beliefs being the only cause of our life’s circumstances. The way I see it, life is a series of interconnected causes and effects, and we are always one tiny nudge away from going left, right or center, up or down in any moment. Entire careers, joys and sorrows are built on those interconnected nudges with our intuitive flashes, actions and inner work being one piece of that web of circumstance. Life well-lived for me means staying close to authentic center and riding the waves.

(I am taking a day off the Daily Prompt because fry did not speak to me).

About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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