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Sitting with Yourself

The time will come

when, with elation

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror

and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here.

Derek Walcott


As I like to say, life is an imperfect journey, and part of it requires going alone. For me, being alone can feel liberating or terrifying, depending on where I am on the path. These emotions can ebb and flow. One day I may think, ah, I have arrived, and other days I feel lost and confused. Can you relate? Walk with me as I share two experiences explaining how stops along the journey to "sitting with yourself" can be vastly different.

The first experience occurred at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York, where I fulfilled a lifelong dream to see Oprah live. For my fiftieth birthday, my family bought me a ticket to see Oprah's 2020 Vision Tour: Your Life in Focus with Michaelle Obama. I sat at the sold-out event by myself!

As I entered the Barclay Center and walked down the long flight of steps to the floor (yes, they treated me to a floor seat), I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. One step after another, an overwhelming sense of courage and accomplishment took over. The tears were not my excitement to see Oprah but tears of joy! You see, there was a time when my anxiety and panic attacks were so extreme I could barely leave my home. I couldn't sit in class or church, or even a restaurant. Many a time, I had to ditch my cart at the grocery store or leave the mall because of a panic attack. I had done endless work to get to the point of walking down those steps. Work that involved not only overcoming anxiety but also overcoming feeling less than and not enough. At the Barclay Center, this was a stop along my journey where I finally felt comfortable in my own shoes and content sitting with myself and literally by myself! When Oprah read the poem Love After Love by Derek Walcott, it hit me at my very core. I was greeting myself at my own door!

Love After Love

The time will come

when, with elation

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror

and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

Now, let me tell you about a recent detour I took over the past two months. My word for the year is SIT, and this month, I was supposed to be "sitting with myself." I can assure you it resembled nothing like that. I got a little too excited about all the things happening in my life; writing, volunteering, new connections, etc. It was a lot, and I quickly went from zero to a hundred. Suddenly, I looked around and asked myself, "What's happening?" and "Where did I go?" I didn't feel like myself, but instead, I was sitting with a stranger.

Has that ever happened to you? You get so busy or caught up in something that you "lose yourself." The question then becomes how to find your way back to yourself. Maybe you are in that place right now and feel stuck; if so, keep reading.

What helped me out of this rut was to ask myself two questions:

What is my why?

What matters most?"

To answer "Why and What Matters Most," I asked myself more questions. Why am I doing what I am doing? Does it feel right? Is it necessary? What are my goals and vision for the future? What are my core values? Am I living in a way that aligns with my values and beliefs? It is a lot to ponder, but these questions encouraged me to evaluate how I want to spend my time and with whom. Give it a try if you feel out of touch with yourself or if life has pulled you in a thousand different directions and you want to find a way back. Take some time to sit quietly with yourself.

And if you want to dive deeper into sitting with yourself, Emily P. Freeman's The Next Right Thing podcast episode #25, Come Home to Yourself, is an excellent resource, and it's only 15 minutes! Emily says,

"When life becomes unpredictable and unsure, it's easy to scatter apart in panic, to come undone, to be spread too thin, to forget who and where we are. Consider this – the only person you're guaranteed to be with every day of your life is you. It doesn't get much more home than that. So maybe it's time to make some peace."

Blessings on your journey, and may you find space and time to sit with yourself!

Walking the Journey with You,



Join me each month to explore:

A dose of Inspiration on the Blog.

A Hope-filled story from an Imperfect Journey Community member.

Resources for spiritual & personal growth from the Transformational Toolkit.

Together we can heal, transform and live wholly as God created us to be!


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