The Great Striptease

The earth has begun to shed the heavy, gray death coat of winter; to stretch yearning green fingers toward the returning sun.  I feel the same primal urge to sweep the clutter from my life; to shed the physical and spiritual costumes that distract me from myself.  On my windowsill, the single gray eye of a moonshell regards me with pointed intent.  It is a reminder of purpose, of the need for the soul to remain single-minded amidst the whirlwind of daily life. 

Purpose and meaning.  For the bumblebee hovering on the other side of my window, purpose is found in his delicate dance with the lavender blossoms in my herb garden.  This simple recognition of meaning and place is why the natural world offers such tranquility to us mere mortals. The bumblebee doesn’t fret about career options; the cedar tree doesn’t bemoan its lack of advanced education.  Each living creature accepts and cleaves to its individual purpose.  I yearn for the simplicity and focus of the moonshell.  As a woman, a mother, a writer, the daily chores of raising a family and making a living often fragment my soul’s sense of purpose, so that my life resembles a treadmill on high speed. 

In one of my favorite books, “Gift From the Sea,” Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote about the challenge women face in fulfilling their obligations to others while retaining a stable and defined sense of self.  Almost 40 years later, with all of our technological advances, the challenge to remain centered is greater than ever.  A jangling and ongoing litany of noise and words assault the senses and starve the spirit.  How do we silence the circus so that simplicity of purpose may be discovered? 

I believe it’s all about choices; about shedding the unnecessary aspects of our lives that prevent us from being true to our purpose.  It’s about being selfish, but not stingy, with one’s time – and about pausing to reflect on the interconnectedness of each life within this brilliant and vast web.  So here’s my role and purpose…to bring light through my writing to the experiences that define and illuminate the human condition; the acts, great and small, that bring us closer to our own meaning and lift us up to God.

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About Terri Hadley Ward

I am a 40-something mom, wife, writer, and spiritual seeker. My life is about following my passions -- my family, writing, gardening, and celebrating the connections that define the human experience.
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