In the drift I find my answer.

IMG_4401The other day, my daughter Alexis wrote about how she just couldn’t make it to the washroom in time.  Her blog, Shit Happens, is hilarious, and insightful. In her vulnerability (revealing you pooped your pants on the way home from work kinda takes down all the walls) she discovered that her fear of ‘looking good’ to others got blasted away in the aftermath of her revelation. The next day, Alexis shares that

The best part about pooping your pants in public is that after suffering through the humiliation of that experience, there is hardly any shame-inducing scenario that one could dream of that could ever elicit that level of embarrassment again.

This morning, reading Ann Koplow’s blog, What I’m Avoiding, reminded me of Alexis’ insights –when we come clean with our fears, when we open ourselves up to ‘being real’ by fearlessly facing our trepidations, our self-concerns, our judgements and our inner lies — we live life on our own terms.

And, seeing as this is my one and only life (that I know of), living it on my terms is way better than living it on someone else’s.

I think it’s one of the things I admire about my daughter the most — she is fearless in her willingness to go inside and get dirty. And in that state, she is willing to open up, be vulnerable and let go of shame and self-limiting beliefs and behaviours that would keep her from living on the wild side of being free.

It took me a lot of years to get there — and there are still days when I struggle with appearances, wrestle with doing the right thing versus the expected, jostle with turning up regardless of what others say by tuning out the noise of what I perceive to be their condemnation, criticism, judgement and/or expectations.

My inner critic can be deafening — and when I give it free rein, it is deadening.

Because, when I’m giving the critic free rein, I am not listening to my heart. I am not hearing my soul calling me to breathe, to be, to surrender and let go of my thinking to make way for my being, present, here, right now.

I have been struggling with direction lately. Struggling with a sense of ennui that is robbing me of focus, attention, and commitment to doing the things I am truly passionate about. I’ve been drifting.

Sometimes, it is okay to drift. Sometimes, the drift is where the quiet finds us. And in the quiet, we hear our soul calling us to be still. To stop running and simply slow down to a walk or even a crawl. And sometimes, in the drift we find it’s not the winds of change hurling us about, it’s our fear of change that keeps us moving away from where we truly dream of being.

And in the drift I find the nexus of my ennui.

I have a book I started working on last year — Lessons in Love: Everything I know about being human I learned at a homeless shelter. — Lessons in Love chronicles the amazing world of the homeless shelter where I worked — its people, its happenings, and the love and humanity I found working there.

I’ve been avoiding working on this book.

It’s time to come clean. To face my fear. To recognize that ‘avoidance strengthens fear’ and in my avoidance of writing Lessons in Love, I’ve strengthened my fear of writing.

I’ve been drifting for far too long. Filling my time with ‘otherness and otherlies’ that don’t add up to a whole bunch of anything, to avoid facing my fear of writing.

Because seriously… that is what has risen as I sat in the silence of my meditation this morning and let my inner guide give voice to my fear.

I am afraid of writing!

Kind of a funny fear when you know I write here every morning.

But Lessons in Love isn’t this kind of writing. It has a structure that I have been rebelling against. Time to take heed of my friend Maureen Doallas‘ words which she wrote me some months ago — don’t begin with the lessons. Begin with the stories. The stories are what makes Lessons in Love powerful.

I am a story-teller.

I don’t fear telling stories. What I fear is giving advice. Sounding like I know or have the answers.

I don’t have your answers or anyone else’s. I know that.

But I do have mine. And when I get still, real, real still. When I stop running from my heart, I can hear my soul calling me to simply tell the stories without trying to make them be the answer.

The stories are not the answer, but they do illuminate the darkness of homelessness, poverty, pain and suffering with the one thing I know is always the answer — Love.

Because what I learned working at a homeless shelter is easy to sum up — No matter the question — Love is always the answer.




15 thoughts on “In the drift I find my answer.

  1. LG,

    You are a story-teller like Mother Teresa was a nurse somewhere.

    Your stories – your own, others’ stories – your insights and re-telling, are gifts you give away every day.

    No fear in that – other than you might stop again (please don’t).

    Ancient books – just stories, really, are the foundation of so many of the great philosophies/dogmas/regligions and inspirations in the world.

    I like your stories.



  2. Argggh… I hate when I have all the settings checked to remember me and wordpress constantly is having me re-sign in! Anyway before I was sooo rudely interrupted… what I started to say was…. I loved this post especially! I have so many of my “real” friends (non writers) or so they think… the friends of mine who are writers just GET posts like this… no explaining why I write… no need… they understand. Like you said… we are story tellers. That should be enough. I have had people say “why would someone want their private thoughts out there for the world to see?” Hmmmm well, thank God for the thought writers… otherwise there would be no books… no movies… no poetry. I am growing weary of explaining That was my very point yesterday when I wrote: Excuse me while I shout it from the mountain tops… poopy pants or not! 😉


    • Ah yes Diane — why? LOL — because we must! And because the world needs books and movies and poetry and deep thinking and even deeper hearts expressing all that they feel and see and know to be true in this world of wonder. Hugs

      and yes, lol — poopy pants or not! 🙂


  3. Ah, Louise. You say it so well. Please don’t worry about handing out advice. Telling your stories, and showing what you have learned about love is one of the greatest gifts you could every offer. I’m proud of you for announcing to us that you are going to go forward with this book. That’s commitment, and you’ll make it!


  4. I saw the movie ‘The Impossible’ last week and followed up reading all the blurb about it. It is about the 2004 Tsunami and one family’s story of survival. They lay quiet for years after because of survival guilt, then thought about those who didn’t survive who could never ever tell their story and felt they should tell their story because they could. “this is a beautiful metaphor of the film” says the mother… “This is about life, its one wave after another wave and you are struggling to go on……… If you survive, you can tell the story, you can go on. If you don’t survive, that’s it. ” Maria Belon
    Tell your stories Louise. you are a survivor and an inspiration. It is the stories that we all want to read about.


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