When I saw this question as a prompt my first thought was,
“No one will be interested in that.”
Then I realized that quite often, my first thought is an attempt to avoid a place that feels too vulnerable. I wondered why I felt vulnerable writing about what inspires me.
My biggest inspiration is my family, especially Dan, my husband, Peter, my son, Leah, my daughter, and Arya, my granddaughter. Arya is the newest member of that list at little over 1 year old, and I wanted to go right to her because she is such a delight. I love watching her discover things about her world. I love her unabashed trust in all of us who love her.
I want to recapture some of her pure delight for myself.
I would not be able to appreciate her the way I do without the inspiration of Dan, Peter, and Leah, so before I continue my reflections of Arya, I will start with them.
Dan inspired me from the day I met him. He was the first person who really saw me for who I was, even though it would be many years before I saw myself that way. He was instrumental in helping me to meet that person and grow to appreciate her, and then to love her. He always gave me unconditional love at a time when it was not apparent in my life. He helped me learn to trust myself, and relax into the person I am meant to be. He opened up the door of possibilities before I even knew that there was a door.
As my firstborn child, Peter inspired me to be a better person, and a better mother than I ever thought possible. The sight of this tiny human that blessed our lives over 40 years ago made me appreciate child-like joy through play and discovery.
He inspired me to find play again in my own life.
Leah inspired me to take a stand for myself when I sought a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) birth. Peter’s birth was a C-section due to complications from a car accident. I wanted a different birth experience with Leah. We educated ourselves about VBAC, and were successful. Leah also inspired me by the way she lived her life. (Although I didn’t see it at the time!) She was intense from day one, and always fought for what she wanted. I later thought that maybe this was because she would be here for such a short time.
She also inspires me to live the life I was meant to live, in order to honor her life since she’s been gone.
My family inspired me throughout my life to follow my own path, and to do my inner work, so that I could provide an environment for them to do the same.
Back to Arya. I know in my heart that if I had not done my own work, the work involved in creating a family that thrives, and the work from my grief journey that I would not have been able to be fully present to the wonder of my granddaughter. I do not have layers of protection around my heart from suppressing my feelings during my life. I learned how to feel all of my feelings, so my heart is open, and from that place I can appreciate my granddaughter with a completely open heart.
The humans that I love the most inspired me to live my best life, to meet the difficulties of my life with grace, to be vulnerable. So there you have it. We don’t like to be vulnerable, and yet that’s what makes us open to love and a worthwhile life.