Like many of you, I have made a lot of friends online. And I have formed bonds and relationships that I know will last forever. We are able to immediately connect on a deep level – on a soul level. And I am so grateful for that.
I also have made many in-person friends: people that I have met face-to-face. Some that I have known for years and others that I have recently met at conferences and established a tight friendship with.
What’s interesting to me is that I don’t feel that my online friends aren’t as close to me as my in-person friends. The “me” that you see here is the “me” that they see in real life. So why would it freak me out when an online friend wanted to meet in person?
That’s exactly what I had to ask myself when she asked me to get together a few weeks ago. All of my insecurities immediately began to surface:
What if I wasn’t as soulful as she thought I would be?
What if she didn’t feel that the me that I came across as online is how the real me comes across in person?
What if she didn’t think I looked how she had imagined?
What if she thought that I had it more together than I really did, and she was disappointed?
You get the point – the “what ifs” were running rampant in my mind – so much so that I needed to go lie down for a bit to catch my bearings and calm them down.
And then I realized something:
I am living a present progressive kind of life. (We all are.)
Excuse me while my editor-geek self steps in to explain what I mean by this:
Remember when we learned the different parts of speech in English class? Well, the present progressive simply pairs a to be verb with an -ing word, which indicates an ongoing action.
Yes! My life was lived this way – I didn’t have it all figured out. I was a work in progress, and this progress was ongoing. This was a true aha moment for me.
I was getting myself all worked up over meeting my friend because I assumed that she would want me to be “there” already – living a past tense kind of life where:
I was successful (however she defined it).
I cherished each moment and immediately learned from every lesson.
I lived my life with complete and total faith.
I took the leap and never looked back.
Rather than my ongoing, present progressive kind of life where:
I am in the process of coming back to life.
I am living each moment (as best I can) in awareness and gratitude.
I am striving to be authentic, open, and vulnerable.
I am looking inward – knowing that the answers always come from my soul.
We are all living in the present progressive, aren’t we?
We are never finished – we are never past tense.
We are always in progress – taking in all of the lessons as we continue along our journey.
And this makes me feel better. This makes all of those insecurities begin to melt away. We are in this together. And I know that my friend doesn’t expect me to be “there” and have figured it all out. She just wants to see me. (Like in the movie, Avatar, when they greet each other by saying, “I see you.” And isn’t that all any of us has ever wanted?
I am all for living a life in progress. Continuing to move forward – continuing to learn and grow – continuing to come back to our core. That is where true life can live – not in the past, but in the ongoing present. Let’s all remember that the next time our “what ifs” start to kick in. We are beautiful works in progress, and that works for me.
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