So. I am scheduled to go to Rome and Tuscany on Wednesday. Rome first. Then Tuscany. It's a vacation with a friend that's been a few months in the making and it's finally (almost) here!!
There is, however, a glitch. My passport hasn't arrived yet.
I will spare you the nitty gritty except to say that if you were ever wondering if an expired driver's license works as proof of identification, it doesn't. And if you were ever wondering if the gentleman who works the passport station at the Rock Center Post Office knows policy through and through, he doesn't. I was ill-advised that a signed affidavit would be sufficient to prove identity in lieu of the license being a week out of date.
So, I went to the DMV, renewed my license, and sent it to the passport center along with every proof of identification I own, short of a small vile of blood. Sorry, gross. Now, with just a few days until my trip, the passport's being processed but still hasn't been mailed yet.
Enter my fear based machina:
Your trip is going to be foiled, principessa!!! Call and email the passport customer service line multiple times a day and go to battle like a Roman with each one who has less information than the one you spoke to previously. Obsess, worry, be angry, do whatever emotional rain dance you have to do, update your FB status so 1100 people can say a collective prayer for you, lose your serenity!
Enter my higher self:
What a great way to learn patience. Doing the footwork every day. Calling the Passport Center. Checking in. Then, letting it go since you are POWERLESS right now and can only practice PATIENCE. Your FAITH is being tested. Just trust. They have your travel date marked. You've done all you can do. It's being expedited. LET GO.
Higher Self wisdom is on point but this is not easy to do. I know I have a last resort - a Monday morning visit to the regional passport office down on Hudson street with my proof of travel. If my passport doesn't arrive today or Saturday that's the next step. I will get my passport. However, this is kicking up a lot of feelings for me and really testing my trust muscle.
Sometimes you're just in a holding pattern and there is nothing left to do but let go and surrender. This month I am teaching and practicing the affirmation, "I surrender to a power that is greater than myself for guidance, strength and anything else." Well, here we are -- it's time to surrender. The big Ask this time isn't for the passport, but the patience and peace I want to maintain while I wait...
but tossing up a prayer to the Patron Saint of Passports can't hurt, right?! Come onnnn!
How often do things work out for people and then you hear them say, "If only I didn't spend so much time fussing and worrying while the process was underway. Oh, if I knew it was going to all work out, I wouldn't have worried!"
Let me say that again.
How often do you hear a newly married person who meets their beloved a little later than first round 20-somethings say they wish they didn't spent all their single years fussing. Or, someone who survives an illness express that they could've been more at peace while healing and recovering instead of projecting so many worse case scenarios.
So, the key is to be in a place of Knowing that it really is all working out so there really is no legitimate reason to lose precious serenity over this process.
So, I shift myself by choosing a different lens through which to look at my circumstances. I return to my heart center and feel my anticipation return, excitement, thinking of how I wept while reading my first Italy guidebook! Wept. Because traveling to Italy is a dream come true and feels like it's happening at EXACTLY the right time. AHH!
I know I will be moved beyond my conscious comprehension -- the beauty, the art, the language (calling up my 3 semesters of college Italian, andiamo!), the people, the food, the distance from here...good bye Duane Reade, hello Duomo! (Seriously, when Duane Read became like a full service supermarket instead of a just a drug store, I thought to myself, why is this the greatest proof I can find of NYC's evolution. Where else are we changing as a city? Why is Duane Read everywhere and how come it feels the need to sell sandwiches and fruit. I don't get it.)
So, I will patiently wait another day today for my passport. I will also let myself enjoy the planning of this trip, imagining our drives through the breathtaking Tuscan countryside and clearing whatever fear I feel in favor of openness to this experience, the experience of Itaaaaaly, of art and of poetry, ahhhh, poetry...
S'amor non è, che dunque è quel ch'io sento?
Ma s'egli è amor, perdio, che cosa et quale?
Se bona, onde l'effecto aspro mortale?
Se ria, onde sí dolce ogni tormento?
What do I feel if this is not love?
But if it is love, God, what thing is this?
If good, why this effect: bitter, mortal?
If bad, then why is every suffering sweet?
S'a mia voglia ardo, onde 'l pianto e lamento?
S'a mal mio grado, il lamentar che vale?
O viva morte, o dilectoso male,
come puoi tanto in me, s'io no 'l consento?
If I desire to burn, why tears and grief?
If my state's evil, what's the use of grieving?
O living death, O delightful evil,
how can you be in me so, if I do not consent?
Et s'io 'l consento, a gran torto mi doglio.
Fra sí contrari vènti in frale barca
mi trovo in alto mar senza governo,
And if I consent, I am greatly wrong in sorrowing.
Among conflicting winds in a frail boat
I find myself on the deep sea without a helm,
sí lieve di saver, d'error sí carca
ch'i' medesmo non so quel ch'io mi voglio,
et tremo a mezza state, ardendo il verno.
so light in knowledge, so laden with error,
that I do not know what I wish myself,
and tremble in midsummer, burn in winter.