I have a deep appreciation for Solidarity; that moment which, all encompassing, joins the greater body of people into one swaying, cheering, singing mass of happiness or purpose. Concerts. Olympic stadiums. Movements. Universality.
So when we walked up to the edge of the 17-mile mark of the New York Marathon, and heard the street-lining crowd cheering the running thousands, I got choked up. I cried, hand-over-heart. All of these people with one focus, all of those feet hitting pavement to reach a goal. More emotion struck as we moved from there, over to the 24-mile mark. Almost finished, so much behind.
I watched these people run and I saw that we can choose how to approach yet another lengthy mile. With interest, attention to the details ahead. With grief, at the many miles of road already gone. Shoulders slumped, or straightened. Heart alight despite the pain, or swallowed by it. Running and finishing both require us to to breathe in, let old air out, and keep our eyes forward, feet steady. This race requires us to be well.
It is my hope, then, that I can be well. And in the meantime, hear the sidelines cheering (though I may have made them up). It seems I'm yearning for solidarity in the mundane, the relief of encouragement in the stuff of every day life. I suppose I want to know that if I stop, if I don't make it to this one's finish line, there'll be hands and arms to catch me, offer me water, lay me on the stretcher and take me home. And, I guess, I find myself praying I'm ready for the race of my very own life.
Purpose is as you accept it. Meaning, the same. Fault and failure belittle, so long as you take them on your way. So let them go. Listen to the Greater, to the call. Hear the voices that don't shame you, at all. Be in solidarity with yourself; be your self-doubts own worst enemy. Put foot to pavement; that finish line is waiting, at the ready.