"Patience is the antidote to the restless poison of the Ego. Without it we all become ego-maniacal bulls in china shops, destroying our future happiness as we blindly rush in where angels fear to tread. In these out of control moments, we bulldoze through the best possible outcomes for our lives, only to return to the scene of the crime later to cry over spilt milk."
- Anthon St. Maarten
With any major life transition there are so many moments throughout the day where your soul feels restless and unsettled. It's longing for the comfort and ease of the familiar and that can stir up a lot.
I think that is just part of the process of change. It's a conundrum at times, when one part of you wants the change and the other wants things to stay the same. I’ve never been particularly patient during times like this. What I've learned however is that this signals the perfect opportunity for growth.
Going through a divorce and moving back home brings with it a lot of moments where my skin feels like it’s crawling and as if there are weights sitting on my chest. That familiar panic sinks in and all I want to do is run someplace, any place other then where I am. Sometimes I just want to avoid everything I'm feeling at all costs.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I love being back in Seattle, close to my family and friends. It's been very healing and therapeutic. However, this has been the way I have worked for a long time. When life gets hard or I am faced with the call to just sit with everything I am feeling, I jump into something new and exciting. I constantly jump from one thing to the next so that I could ride the waves of that blissful newness and not have to deal with the raging uneasiness inside. I didn't want to have to sit with what I was feeling.
What I’m finding now, more than ever, is a deep longing to learn and grow from this experience and in order to do that, I have to stay around long enough to see things from a clearer perspective. I have to allow the dust to settle and the pain and feelings to sink in. I have to get really comfortable with the uncomfortable.
A big part of me yearns to feel grounded and secure in my life and to feel this experience deep in my guts; all of it. This to me shows how far I have come in my growth and my evolution as a person.
But a big part of me wants to run too.
I’ve been trying to approach this whole experience with a lot of grace and stillness, which isn’t easy for an extremely anxious person like me. I've had moments I'm not exactly proud of, falling back onto old behaviors. There are days when I want nothing to do with any of it. I want my old life back, the one filled with fields of clovers and vines, warm cozy fires, big lush gardens and furry animals. And then there are days when I am so unbelievably happy with where I am. I'm so proud of myself for choosing a better life over a comfortable one.
I’m navigating, redefining and trying to figure out my next steps but at the same time, I letting things unfold naturally and allowing the God to take the lead.
It's painful a lot of the times yet incredibly exciting too.
I often wonder what is it about this process that makes my heart ache one minute and cry out in joy the next? At times it’s like this bipolar dance in my brain. A week ago I was standing in the kitchen and began sobbing uncontrollably only to feel relieved and at peace a short while later. Sometimes that's the only way to let all that built up energy out. To cry and scream and shake and throw your fists in the air. Sometimes I wonder how much I can handle and if maybe I have a little bit of bipolar disorder. I'm just being honest as this chemical imbalance runs in my family. But then I realize I'm human and betrayal and heartbreak can bring out sides of us we never knew existed. I think it's easy to confuse the two.
Have you ever experienced this? What do you do?
As I reflect on the past two and a half months I've seen a lot of growth. I can measure it with new habits and rituals which look a little something like this:
* I’m finding grace the best way I can by developing little practices to cultivate self-love and joy and most importantly, gratitude.
* I show up as I am. I mean, really show up no matter what I’m feeling and I make no apologies. Brokenness takes time to repair.
* I spend a significant time in my journal. Whether it’s one sentence or pages, it’s something that allows me to take an honest look at my situation and clarify my thoughts and feelings. It settles that restless fire in my belly. It provides a deep understanding and awareness and gives me peace.
* I’m getting really comfortable with being uncomfortable. There have been nights where I feel so lonely. In the past I’d run to the fridge and tear through it like a starved animal. However, now I find a quiet spot, dim the lights and give myself permission to cry if needed or close my eyes and focus on the uneasy feeling in my chest. The more we can sit with it, move through the feeling, all of them, the more we learn and can grow into our new lives.
* I’ve spent a lot of time outside, climbing paths to the top of mountains, letting the sun kiss my checks and warm my body as sweat drips down my spine. I take notice of the beauty all around me and give thanks for the awesomeness that was created.
* I give a lot of thanks. Cultivating a practice of gratitude, even for things like divorce and heartache is important. It’s what gives us a new perspective needed to grow.
* I feed myself wholesome, nutritionally dense foods so my immune system is strong. Emotionally trying times can weigh heavy on your body and health. Turning to healthy foods is so important to create balance within the body.
* I’m surrounding myself by amazing, supportive, loving, fun people (AKA – my family and friends). I’m extremely lucky to have such a unique family where we find smiles and laughter in trying times. Sitting around the dinner table, sipping on wine, eating good foods and laughing, we are never short of laughter and these people give some of the best hugs around.
* I'm putting myself out there to meet new and interesting people. I'm naturally introverted so at times this can be frightening. What I'm learning is how much I love hearing other people's stories and connecting with them in unique ways.
Life can change in the blink of an eye, for better or for worse. My life did in one single moment. has changed quickly. In my heart I know that great things are happening because I decided to take a path that was right for me. It wasn't an easy choice but it has opened many new doors.
But then again, isn't that what happens when one closes in the first place?