Certain gifts are so much easier to give others than to give ourselves.
To be present. To listen well. To accept without judgement.
These are gifts I want to offer to the important people in my community and I hope that I succeed in that, at least sometimes. But I am not in the practice of offering these to myself. I am not in the practice of receiving them from myself.
I noticed this, as I sat in the dark with only the sounds of my breath and the the furnace cycling on to warm the house before daybreak.
It's hard, sometimes, to know how much space to take in the world. I don't know if I've grown lately and am straining against the edges of a container that used to be comfortable. Or maybe the shape has just shifted and the new corners are irritating me but I'll stop noticing as soon as I form new calluses.
In the dark I can't see where I end and the world begins. An image of my internal space materializes in my mind, a cramped and partitioned apartment building with lots of doors and not enough light. That's not how I want to look inside. Internally I want to be a vast meadow where the breeze ripples tall grass and any sound could echo for miles.
So far it's worth it, trading 30 minutes of sleep for quiet, dark wakefulness. It feels like a gift to myself, holding the space for an endless landscape to unfurl inside me, where I can stretch out and breathe.