Lately I seem to come up with new words, or at least new meanings or nuances for existing words, to articulate my ideas. So, it is that I want to write about becoming a more integrated person and yet I can’t find any definition that exactly reflects what I mean. The closest is the first definition in dictionary.com of self-integration:
1. an act or instance of combining into an integral whole.
This is an idea that I want to explore during Lent. Instead of giving something up or doing something more to make a sacrifice, I want to instead focus on making myself a more integrated person. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penance, repentance of sins, alms-giving, atonement and self-denial. I am not intending to stray from that purpose, however those are things which should be done without public fanfare. So, as I move through Lent with this, semi-public, record of my life, I want to focus my writing on the other things I am doing to be a better person through self-integration.
I have a great deal of material to work with…the over 500 posts in this blog written within the last three years of my life. I have waxed poetic about many things. I have started, failed, started again, given up or succeeded at many, many things. Now is the time to review all of those things, reflect on whether they should be a part of me, integrated into who I am, or to let them go. I am a woman of much passion and enthusiasm, so I’m afraid I often declare that I am starting a whole new path, when in the end I am just not ready to forge that particular path.
When I review my posts, I see many themes. I’ve categorized, as best I could, each post into one narrow space, but often they cover many. I write about family, faith, fitness, love, life, celebrations, learning, parenting, working, and many, many other things. How do all of these things help me to be an integrated, whole person? This is the question that I want to pursue over the next 6+ weeks.
I plan to look at each element to see if it makes sense to integrate it into my life right now, to discard it as not part of who I am anymore, or to set it aside for later. I have written about the concept of a second adulthood and also of a second adolescence. This is part of my second adolescence, that time when we question and dream and try to figure out who we are and who we want to be when we “grow up”.
I feel that I am in a safe place right now, as I did the first time around. Back then, this sense of safety came from my parents, who kept a roof over my head and food on my plate so that I could focus on preparing my way to leaving home. This time around, that sense of safety comes from my corporate career. My job pays the bills to keep the roof over my head and food on my plate so that I can focus on preparing my way to leaving corporate life.
Find the Joy in the Journey…and the courage to Journey within!