I am still learning.
One of the things I have learned today is that having the right friends can make all the difference in the world.
If there is a way in which I have allowed my spirit to be almost murdered over the past few years, it has been the degree to which I reneged on my promise to myself to nurture myself in all the ways I needed.
I have lost so much -- in confidence, in connectedness, in the natural lightness of my own being. For awhile, just the thought of all the effort it's going to take to rebuild my Me was enough to send me straight to bed in complete exhaustion.
How did this even happen? How did I ever end up in this place anyway? I thought I'd been here and done this already.
Today, I talked to a friend. I told him about the milestone step I took within the last 24 hours to set my feet back on the path to where I want to be, and how hard it was for me to do it.
I tried to explain to him why it was so hard, why it felt like it cost so much, what I felt I had lost and how I had somehow lost it without even realizing it.
And he said: Dawn, don't ever forget how much you know.
Dawn, I want you to remember how many people listen to you.
I want you to remember how many people like you. It's easy to do.
Dawn, I am proud of you.
Dawn, I believe in you.
I have always admired you and, now that I know these things about you, I admire you even more.
Dawn, you're not alone.
(And because he is my friend, I know that I can believe all those things when he says them. That is one reason why I do not use that word 'friend' lightly.)
And suddenly, that simply, the game had changed.
I realized that I hadn't really lost anything at all, no matter how much it feels like I did. I realized that I don't really have to rebuild myself from the ground up, that I don't need to do some mysterious something to make myself acceptable to the world.
It's much more important that I remain acceptable to me.
It's hard to remember this sometimes but what I really need, along with everything that goes with it, is simply to find peace.
Everything else comes from there.
You see? More than 40 years later and I'm still learning things from you, Dr. King.