Dear Willingness…

I’m walking towards 14 years of sobriety and reflecting…

When I started my memoir, I ended up writing letters to myself.
Letters of encouragement. Confessions.
Hidden truths that begged for air and light.

This letter… A Letter to Willingness I share with you now.

This week has brought some surprising sweetness and has opened up some unexpected doors. If I had lost momentum in any of this, I would have never stepped through to meet those opportunities.

Some days I had to fight and then fight some more in order to keep moving forward.

To everyone who struggles with putting one foot in front of the other, this one’s for you


© 2017 Angela Rooker. All Rights Reserved.No reproduction, alteration, duplication, or transmission without author permission.
Dear Willingness-
It’s been really hard to get in touch with you lately.
I’ve been filled with this pressing, shadowy hush.
I’ve been struggling with yielding in life again. I hate how I have fallen into this place.
I have way too much to lose, and I know that in my entire being. It should be crucial to have you by my side.
I should be able to reach out to you, given our wonderful history together.
All of the sparkly, illuminated spaces that you have helped create on my path.
The naked, openness that I have pushed myself to, the ashes that I have burned into and also risen up from. I’ve cherished all of these moments that you have shared with me.
But now…I feel alone and need to share my pain. I need movement but all I have is a foggy memory of you whispering to me stories of beauty to come. I somehow can’t raise my heart to answer your call. I somehow am too heavy in this place.
It feels like there are big, unnamable barriers between us now. I’ve had to force myself to greet you daily. Even when I think about all of the amazing things that come when I walk with you by my side.
It feels impossible to rise up from this place.
I used to walk hand in hand with you, at a time when it really mattered. When you were crucial in my movement towards glistening grace. I remember you being the only thing I truly had to turn to. And when I did, when I let go in small and big ways and let you lead me, oh…the breathtaking views that you carried me toward. You helped me clear space for dreams to incubate.
Such a stark difference from this place where I find myself now.
This feels like not-quite-apathy nipping at my heels. A familiar numbing buzz. Possibly fear of losing it all because I have lost it all so many times.
But why? How did it get to this?
I remember the flame inside of me blooming and licking at the fears that needed to be sacrificed. I remember how it felt like I was suffocating on self-hatred, my heart crushing in impossible circumstances, and you somehow lifted my eyes to the sky. You pushed me to stay open, and count on better days. I eagerly awaited your call to travel to new places.
It feels as if the light has dimmed so slowly, even after all of the effort to keep it stoked inside of me. Breathing in and out, I’m exhausted by how much energy it takes to shine. Maybe darkness has its grace as well.
The tears are swelling now, cradling my sadness with soft release.
I remember being in a place when I had nowhere to go, and I faced you in the mirror. I could barely see you. The only vision of myself that reflected back was haunted with shadows and ghosts of endless pain. You managed to walk me forward somehow. You managed to get me to run toward the horizon. You managed to show me how to find myself in music and dancing and art. And now I glance at the moonlight fading, wondering what moves me forward now, in this place.
A tense calm in my footsteps, as if all of those sudden shifting sands in the past have made me perpetually cautious.
I remember being brave. And being in awe of that realization, the potential to rise above, endlessly lapping at the shores of my insecurity.
These new places where I feel lost don’t quite feel like that darkness I once faced. I now take more steps outside of my comfort zone, more out of habit than necessity.
I remember that place of necessity.
I remember the things that marked that place in my path where I had to take your hand.
You helped me reach my hands to the sky and develop the sweetness of sacred prayer. You helped me create words where there was silence. You helped me wash my eyes of the cloudy illusions that I was so convinced were real. You helped me articulate my heart’s desires in full capacity. Helped me mold daily rituals of forgiveness from the clay of my mistakes. You helped me get outside of myself to help another person. And another person. And another, until all that became familiar was getting out of myself to be of more use to others.
You helped me show up and be present in moments that tested my aching courage on a cellular level.
You helped me finally see myself as beautiful and true.
Maybe in this heaviness, all I really need to do is thank you for being in my life. For showing me the importance of being alive, despite tragic beginnings and tremendous, scarring loss.
Maybe all I am supposed to do in this moment is to express my deepest gratitude for all that you have showed me in myself, all that you have carried me towards, all that you have helped me loosen my grip on.
I would be driving with the brakes and gas going all at once without you.
You helped me use my footsteps in the right way to walk in beauty, to be aware of my actions towards others, to see my part in the storms of my past, and to do the next right thing to keep moving forward. You have helped me move through all of these difficult places inside and outside of myself towards more trust in myself. So that I could open the door for others to come in.
I would still be broken and discouraged, succumbing to the churning madness of disillusionment, without you. You were loyal to the light in me and you kept me critically focused on it, to save my very life. To raise me from the depths of my crippling despair. You offered me hope when no one else could.
You showed me new life, new love, second chances that I should not have been privy to. My trajectory was determined from the start, and you somehow shifted everything inside of me towards a possible future.
You helped me transform into a miracle. For that I will forever be grateful.
This release has helped remove some of the debris, so that I can see your light in my heart once again. You have shepherded my wounded sight once again.
Sometimes I need to move, and sometimes I need to be still, so that you can take the lead.
Please take my hand once again…I’m ready to trust this dance.