One of my favorite songs is by Jason Isbell where in the chorus he asks, “Are you living the life you chose? Are you living the life that chose you?”
In the past every time I heard that song, particularly in concert, I felt certain that I was living the life I chose. In the late summer of 2021, I feel like I might be in mired in a life that chose me by circumstance or default. I say that not because I have been sidetracked from who I am and what brings me joy, but because the pandemic is skewing daily life for me and everyone in my sphere. I have more days where fear and/or anger override joy; where tears come easily and frequently, where limitations seem confining and endless; and where big dreams seem out of reach or just selfish.
My perception of having any control has been shattered. The harsh reality is that I can’t protect the people that matter most to me. I understand that there are and will always be rough times, but right now, more so than anytime in the last year and a half, I feel overwhelmed. Simple pleasures and joy seem trivial.
I am so grateful for my friends, family and community, even if we are talking more through devices and apps than in person. Friends are messengers of hope.
While discussing current practices, a friend shared with me a mantra she is using to help herself find both calmness and action:
Om Asatoma Sad-Gamay (Lead me from the untruth to the Truth) Tamaso Maa Jyotir-Gamaya (Lead me from darkness to light) Mrytror-Maa Amritam Gamaya (Lead me from death to immortality)
After listening to the mantra she asks herself, “What is mine to create?” Then she sits in meditation. She does not set an expectation of grandeur as she believes that each small message she accepts and follows moves her into alignment with Source. She trusts that Spirit is leading her to her next right step. “May thy will be done through me.”
Another dear friend shared with that she prays for the help she needs and then “puts all of my chips on the trust square that I am traveling to the answer to my prayer.” She told a beautiful story about her mother telling her, “Once you ask God for something, you are simply traveling in time to a place where that prayer is answered.”
May I live the life I chose, not the life that chose me by default. May I surrender to and trust God that I am traveling to a place where my prayer is answered. May I listen for what is mine to create and take the next right step.