A Loving Note On A Chalkboard

“Old Dragon” by Trick Slattery

It’s easy to fall into a self – pitying pit sometimes. For me, it’s easier than for most. I can honestly convince myself that I am somehow undeserving of acceptance; a poisoned tree full of cynicism and self – destructive thoughts spawns from the tiniest nugget of insecurity, fermenting a toxic fume that infects my perception. It becomes dangerously easy to indulge in some strangely comforting sense of feeling alienated from the world, of being misunderstood, or of not being truly accepted.

The truth of it, however, is that I am accepted. Deep down, I know it, and today, I found myself feeling like a very ungrateful human being for allowing the negative voices within to so easily undo the positive effects of the people that I am lucky enough to have in my life. The people who give me unconditional love, who have encouraged me on the crazy path I’ve chosen to walk, and who honour me with their honesty and trust. Today, I wanted to write about how lucky I feel to have such wonderful people living within the landscape of my life, and how deeply fortunate I feel to have become part of theirs.

It’s interesting to consider just how easy it is to take things for granted.  One of the things I pride myself on is my vigilance around this issue. I spend time, every day, being grateful for key people in my life – my fiancé, my family, my closest friends and many other wonderful human beings I have formed a bond of connection with. Today I realised, however, that I have become complacent in the way I do this; and it was only when I was rolling around on the floor, like a baby, in the name of “tuning my instrument” to better myself as an actor (not just for fun, although it is very therapeutic and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it!), my fiancé sitting at his computer clicking away on a game of Civilisation 5, not batting a an eyelid, that I realised the extent of this complacency. The fact that I can do this seemingly mad activity, with my fiancé in the room, so completely accepting of it, is a manifestation of his true acceptance of my choices. That is something rare, and something to be truly thankful for. Yet, sometimes I sit, alone, feeling as though I am not understood, or accepted, or just plain lonely. Today, that seems laughable to me, and although I know that I will fall into the cycle again, and find myself feeling lonely and confused, I know that what I’m feeling today is a positive feeling of feeling hopeful, connected, and ultimately, grateful to be alive and living the life I’m leading. I’m one of the lucky ones, with so much to be grateful for…

“A loving note on a chalkboard. A conversation about the nature of language and human perception helped by an Options hot chocolate. A workout that encapsulates life’s challenges. A surprise trip to the IMAX at Christmas. Endless conversations about love, personal growth and super comfy PJ’s. Literally being the same person! Hot water bottles. Sitting outside St. Pancras station in the sunshine watching the world go by. Dinner and a ridiculously generous tip (but hardly surprising!). Super frothy coffee, Lou Reed and a stunning city scape on a Friday night. True generosity. A long, cold walk through a December London full of mystery and fleeting hope. The letter that saved us. The poem that makes me cry every time. Kenji. A balcony. A voice that makes me feel like everything is going to be okay. Sweet Thing. A laugh so infectious that even if I’m angry I can’t help but laugh along. Hours drinking Tea at The Peahen. Reassurance in similarity. Warmth. Big floppy ears. Snuggles. Love.”

And that is merely a moment in my memory when I choose to focus on how lucky I am, and the people I love. I’m excited about letting myself go deeper, rediscovering the gratitude that I’ve somehow lost over time. I’m learning that it is just as important for your creativity, your growth, and your ability to be a fundamentally good human being (whatever that means!), to focus on what you have to be deeply grateful for, as well as the considerations that lead you to question the deeper nature of life and it’s meanings. It’s just as important, and challenging, to let yourself remember and accept love, as it is to truly experience and embrace feelings of a more solitary nature.

It’s often easy to let the negative voices take over and tell you that things are bleak. That things are imperfect, and not how you imagined they would be when you dreamed of a better future. The challenge, I think, is in keeping your eyes truly open, in a consciously alive state, and seeing the truth of how things really are; chaotic, messy, and full of unpredictable inspiration and hope at every moment. Rather than assuming that I can truly appreciate my good fortune without a major conscious effort, and pondering how easy it is to take things for granted, I’m going to try and do it the other way round. I’m going to let myself be brave, let these defences down, and allow myself to truly appreciate the acceptance and love that I am given. Completely consciously. Really allow myself to absorb it. This, of course, means that I am opening myself to the possibility of getting hurt, taking off my armour and revealing the delicate fragility underneath, but it also means that I am freeing myself of defensive habits, and letting go. I’m learning that letting go, although terrifying, is well worth the risk.

It may well be the key step to finding the freedom that I’m looking for in this small existence of mine. Maybe it’s the key to it all. I don’t think I’ll ever truly know (I’ll never really know anything, I’m realising), but I’ll enjoy walking the road and taking in the scenery as I wander along, eyes wide open. I’ll even take some pleasure in the notion that those around me may somehow benefit from my willingness to receive and accept their love as I go on the journey.

It’s okay to be loved, and to accept that you are loved. In fact, it’s the best feeling there is. It’s sad that somewhere along the line my ability to truly accept the love of others became riddled with fear and a need to be in control, but it’s never too late to make a wonderful discovery, and to begin the wonderfully chaotic process of change.

Let’s see how it goes.

Thanks for reading.

An Ordinary Idealist

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