My Amazing Life: Feeling Like a Hollowed out Tree
Welcome to another post in the My Amazing Life series. You can read the first post in this series here and learn how to share your story. My goal with this blog series is to showcase the ordinary and extraordinary moments of our lives. The fact that we are alive is a gift and sometime we have to choose how to respond to our life or even step outside of it so that we can see how amazing it truly is.
I am so excited to share a guest post today from my good friend, Jessica Mireles. Jessica is a piano teacher, writer, wife and mom who also loves to garden. You can read her bio and learn more about her on her beautiful blog Allegro Non Tanto.
You will love her article “Spilling Over” which to me shows the beauty and power in choosing to see the extraordinary in the ordinary and to be grateful for each moment.
For a very long time I carried a feeling of wanting inside me, like I was a hollowed out tree trunk and if I could just fill up that space with proof of my extraordinary accomplishments, I’d be fulfilled. As a young girl, I chose to spend endless hours practicing the piano thinking that my talent and musical endeavors would be enough to fill that void inside of me. I gave concerts, won competitions and went on to major in piano performance at a prestigious music school, only to find that the accolades from the outside world wasn’t enough—the space inside of me still felt cavernous.
Through my twenties, thirties and most of my forties, I couldn’t see that all I had in my life—my happy marriage, my four beautiful children, my successful piano teaching career—were more than enough to fill up that hollow space, but I’d been in the habit of feeling empty for so long that even having it all wasn’t sufficient to fill that void.
Looking back on all the time I wasted feeling dissatisfied and empty, all I can say now is thank goodness for old age. I finally understand that old adage, “Youth is wasted on the young” is absolutely true. It’s unfortunate that we don’t live in reverse as I’d like to enjoy a youthful body to go along with the wisdom, patience and understanding I have now that I’m middle aged.
I’m wise enough now to realize that the center of my universe is right there within me, and my reality is only what I create in my mind and what I see through my own eyes. What I choose to think and feel is ultimately what will fill up that empty space inside of me—the approval or admiration I get from others means nothing if I don’t believe it myself.
But old habits always die hard and I realize that finding the joy and goodness in the little things in life is always going to be a struggle for me, but at least I realize that all the accolades in the world are meaningless if I don’t first feel them within me.
Yesterday our extended family came over for a barbecue. We did the usual things—ate delicious food, talked, joked around and shrieked with laughter for most of the afternoon. Years ago I would have thought of it as just another stressful family get-together—I would have fretted and worried and been angry that I had to do all the work. I would have been too resentful to enjoy myself.
But I’m different now. Now I’m able to see that it was a perfect chance for me to spend time with the people I love most in the world and all during the afternoon I felt my universe expanding with the love they feel for me.
My once hollow tree trunk spilled over with joy and gratitude and I realized that life couldn’t get any better.
Jessica Winters Mireles writes about herself: I’m the woman you see at the grocery store: no make-up, hair in a haphazard pony tail, worn jeans and a stained t-shirt. What you don’t see is that I’m complicated and interesting on the inside–just like you! I’m the mother of four incredible children, the wife of Rene, and a friend to many. I’ve been a piano teacher for over twenty years, and when I’m not being paid to nag other people’s children to practice, I’m either tending to my flower garden, or somewhere with my nose in a book. I’m adding a little writing to the mix now, just to keep things interesting…
I want to thank Jessica for sharing her wisdom and insights with us here today. Be sure to read more of her writing on her blog: Allegro Non Tanto. Be sure to leave her some comment love below and share her words of wisdom with others!