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Friday, April 23, 2004

Meeting of the mind—and heart

I may have planned my career leap for a while, but I'm glad it didn't happen any sooner because I'm not sure my heart and mind would have been ready for it all.
But I am ready now, and it's because I had no plans, no set path. I faced my fears and uncertainty head on and found that I could survive—and even thrive. And that's what I feel this week. For the first time in years, I feel as if I'm truly thriving, embracing all that life has to offer.

My heart and mind have made friends and no longer feel like enemy combatants. As a result, my relationships have improved, my spirit has improved, my writing has improved. And I'm learning to trust a little more—in myself, in God, in my loved ones. That's a big leap for me, one who felt so compressed, so tightly wound that I feared one tug at my heart and my world would unwind.

The thing is, my heart has been tugged in many the love and support of my family, my colleagues, my friends. And chaos wasn't the result. Instead, I'm basking in the realization that they will accept me no matter what. I'm feeling a little pollyana-ish about life these days. That's a big improvement over being afraid of life—both success and failure, living and dying.

Those fears are still there, but I'm discovering the faith I need to keep them from running and ruining my life. I've been giving a lot of thought lately to souls. Today's Washington Post has a great piece about the late columnist, Mary McGrory: "a great writer, an abundant soul and a hell of a gal."

And here's a parting thought for the weekend, courtesy of Anna Quindlen:

"People don't talk about the soul very much anymore. It's so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is cold comfort on a winter night, or when you're sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you've gotten back the chest X-ray and it doesn't look so good, or when the doctor writes 'prognosis, poor.'

"Get a life in which you notice the smell of salt water pushing itself on a breeze over the dunes, a life in which you stop and watch how a red-tailed hawk circles over a pond and a stand of pines…. Get a life in which are not alone. Find people you love, and who love you."

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