Inspiration of the Self-Reliance 30-Day Writing Challenge

To celebrate Ralph Waldo Emerson's 208th birthday (May 25th, 1803), Self-Reliance urges us to trust our intuition rather than conforming to the will of the majority.

Beginning on May 31st, 2011, The Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance website*** will post a daily prompt. This will continue for 30 days.

This is my unique creation of personal reflection and responses, based on those prompts.

***See link below for the site.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wholly Strange and New

DAY 16

"When good is near you, when you have life in yourself, it is not by any known or accustomed way; you shall not discern the foot-prints of any other; you shall not see the face of man; you shall not hear any name;—— the way, the thought, the good, shall be wholly strange and new."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can you remember a moment in your life when you had life in yourself and it was wholly strange and new? Can you remember the moment when you stopped walking a path of someone else, and started cutting your own?
Write about that moment.

Yes, I’ve experienced more than one moment like this, as I’ve grown into the person I am today.  I cannot remember the exact time or place, but I can remember the feeling.

The very first time I felt as though I was “cutting my own path” was when my ex-husband and I divorced, in the 1980’s.  For several years I had been living his life; not mine.  I didn’t realize this, until the divorce.  He was a sad man, so I tried to do everything I could to help him gain some happiness in his life, to the point of abandoning myself and becoming a clone of him.

The marriage was frustrating and dysfunctional, and I was miserable most of the time.  I realized later it was because I couldn’t help him find happiness.  Only he could do that for himself.  I’m not sure he ever did, but I’d like to hope he did.

But, my life changed forever.  That’s when I discovered ME.  The feeling was liberating, as well as slightly foreign.  The feeling was definitely “wholly strange and new”. 

This was a turning point in my life, and it was then, I began to truly grow.

My next milestone was the discovery of real honest gratitude.  This was life-changing, to say the least.  To explain this, it may help to read my other blogs:  Adventures in Gratitude – My Gift to You –

Although I was already evolving in this new process of development, several years later, I began learning about Buddhism from my youngest son, as well as reading books on the subject.  Learning mindfulness and compassion cut an even deeper level of this path I had begun.  And, so again, that feeling surrounded me as I began to grasp the philosophies of my wholly strange and new life.

By no means am I finished with this journey of enrichment.  I remain exposed and receptive to further growth.  I look forward to my next defining moment, with another wholly strange and new experience. 

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