Do you ever feel like you’re a phony? Like you’re just trying to fake it till you make it? I’m a huge proponent of truth. Telling ourselves, and others, the truth. But I also believe in pushing toward the level you are trying to reach when it just plain looks like you’re not that person yet.
I was at my little neighborhood beach the other day, relaxing and reading Bob Goff’s latest book, Dream Big and I couldn’t help but notice the sand was shimmering and dancing with an abundance of gold specks. A sand replenishment project was just completed there to extend the beach areas, and evidently wherever they brought the sand in from was loaded with fool’s gold. I was immediately flooded with a wave of fond memories from my childhood when I used to visit my grandma and grandpa at their California farm in the summers during my elementary school years. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, maybe 7 or 8. Aside from my time there being filled with the best of childhood dreams like the white Silkie chicks, Brownie, the dog that practically talked back when you asked how she was, flattening pennies on the nearby railroad tracks, and my own pony to ride, they would take me to the nearby wide, flat river to play with all the other children seeking solstice from the hot California summer.
There was so much magic there replete with screaming children splashing with delight, spread out in all areas of this wide river. It didn’t matter that it was only about 3 inches deep in most spots where we played, we were utterly satisfied and transported for those hours to imaginary lands full of gold as we lay down and covered our entire, small bodies with gold fairy dust; head to toe… pure childhood magic.
In recent months, I’ve longed for that childhood feeling of escape. The ability to be in another time and place and fully immersed in only that, free from hard work, sad feelings for life not going as planned, and a mind filled with worry for those I love. There’s a pervasive enemy that keeps my mind constantly consumed with trying to figure out how I can help, how I can make things better, how I can improve my own life, and how I can possibly get free of all the things that consume my thoughts, and, return to the wonders of my childhood. That stress-free, no responsibility life, that should be a child’s experience.
And so, I had that tiny moment sitting on my little beach as my mind drifted off to the wonderment of splashing in that river, pretending I had found all the pirate booty. We can escape for these mini-getaways when beautiful memories pop up unexpectedly, and these are the moments I ramp up in my mind to fight all the hard stuff that consistently demands my attention. A focus on gratitude, past and present, for the things that bring me wholeness.
Today we call it wellness, self-care, or self-love. Back then, as kids, it was just sheer delight. I’m looking to transform the things that are currently taking intentional effort toward self-care, into simple, sheer delight again. It all seems to come full circle to accepting and letting go. There are so many things that we can’t control that are demanding our attention; mandated distancing and loneliness, financial stress, added workloads, unexpected hardship, sickness, death and gut-wrenching grief. But you mustn’t give up on the goal of having those joy moments bubble up in you again that will bring you wholeness and balance. They are there waiting to surface from below the sand. You may just not be able to see the sparkle yet. Continue your tenacious efforts toward taking care of yourself, ways to find healing, to let go, and to accept what is. Take time to nurture yourself with whatever makes your soul sing, and know that even if it’s not the real thing yet, fool’s gold still sparkles, and so do you.