Gran's Apple Butter Blog

March 15, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Reasons Why (5/II)

Filed under: Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Gran,Life Journeys,Packing,Planning,Preparing,Self Development — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 2:27 pm

Chapter 5 – Reasons Why
from Going Home, by Mary Batson

One of the first things to figure out is why we’re going home, because the answer to that question will shape every other decision along our way. This is what will get us started and keep us going when everything and everyone else in our lives – even the voices in our heads – say, “You don’t have time for a trip now. How selfish! Just stay where you are and keep your nose to the grindstone.”

If we listen to these voices, we’ll do just that. We’ll keep our nose there ‘til it’s worn to the bone, ‘til we’re worn to the bone, ‘til we have no energy left to go home, and we can’t even remember why we wanted to go there in the first place. That’s why Gran said we need to learn the difference between big-loud-bully voices, sweet-enough-to-get-their-way voices, and that still, small voice within.

We go home for different reasons. Sometimes life changes compel us to travel when we might not have otherwise made that choice. Perhaps someone is ill, or going home – maybe even you. If everyone stays very aware, times like these can bring us together. But this isn’t easy to do when we’re in pain, so Gran advised packing an extra long rope for these journeys. You know, so you can cut everyone – including yourself – a lot of slack.

In these brief windows we can let down our guards and just be together, without all the noise and interference of our daily lives. These moments shake us out of the hazy circles we run around in, Gran said, thinking we’re getting somewhere, not realizing we’re running in a little track wheel, well-intentioned-but-mostly-asleep. We think it’s funny to watch a hamster do this. It’s not so funny to think about doing it ourselves.

Gran said these times offer an incredible opportunity, if we’re ready for it, to reconnect with ourselves and others in all new ways. We can let go of our egos, our need-to-be-right, and our obsession with staying busy. We can stop trying to prove our worth to a world we’re afraid doesn’t even know we exist, much less cares about who we are on the inside.  

Some of Gran’s favorite memories were of times when she wasn’t afraid to let someone into her soul, when others weren’t afraid to let her into theirs. Real emotions come up at these times, she said, and if we’ll slow down enough to drop our projections and expectations and allow ourselves to experience these feelings and express them to each other, miracles can happen.

We have the choice whether or not to open up. Not everyone wants to do this, Gran said, at least not consciously. When a person has been shut inside tall, thick walls for a long time, stepping outside can seem unbearably threatening, no matter how sad and lonely we may be on the inside. Maybe we’re not sure we can find the door, or if one is even there.   

But when we finally get sick enough of the view in there, sick enough to try anything, to even push through our fears, what comes next is beyond life changing. Courage is action through fear, and consciously deciding to break down your walls from the inside out when you don’t even know what’s waiting on the outside – well, Gran said that’s the most incredibly empowering thing she’s ever experienced. Break-downs become break-throughs become breaks-of-day, and darkness turns to light.

Gran understood that our biggest challenge is our fear of the journey itself, bigger than even the fear of our own light.[i] She wished we could understand that fear is just a big, heavy-breathin’ bully, scary on the outside, weak as a leaf within. But when we don’t realize how strong we are, that we can move mountains if we’ll set our minds to it, we let fear have the upper hand, instead of callings its bluff.

We always have a choice in this situation, Gran said, and we’re already holding the winning hand. But we’ll have to open our eyes and loosen our grip in order to see the Royal Flush we’re clutching.

[i] An incredible reminder from Marianne Williamson
© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010. All rights reserved.
NOW AVAILABLE: Going Home, The E-Book & Going Home: The Tour LIVE – 2 CD set – Mikey and Gran’s story put to music!


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