Today is a day for word vomit. Most assuredly.
Often these days I feel the need to write a chapbook on my thoughts and feelings or I am a dry desert with absolutely nothing to say.
Today is vomit.
I feel nauseated a lot these days, low-level, comes and goes, and it feels like it’s because of the world around me and nothing else. Not my immediate world, which feels good, warm, protected, but the other. The outside.
I’ve been through what might be described best as a crisis of faith. Or at least others might understand that phrase. It seems to mean that you come out the other side…. And you do, and I have. But I am utterly changed.
Some changes have been very good, and some not-so-much. But it’s growth and change and that seems always to come with pain.
Why do people stay in the same place their whole lives? I know why. Change is hard. It hurts. It’s desperately lonely and confusing, and all the things you thought you knew just aren’t there any more, and those things were comforting. They were somewhat false, yet very comforting, like a small child that is protected in the home of its mother. There is bad out there, but I never think of it, I’m safe here in my cocoon.
I guess I’ve seen more of the world and I know why people don’t want to see it, not really. It can be ugly and painful and dirty and all-too-real. So we close ourselves off in different types of protective cocoons, and thank God for them, because without them, we’d all surely go mad.
I now know more about myself, about who I truly am, than I ever have. (The good, the bad, and the ugly.) I have more confidence, more of an ability to stand up for myself and others, that’s a good thing. More love, more compassion than I have ever known possible, yet I feel as though my eyes are more open than ever before. And with eyes open, one sees the bad as well as the good. We feel the pain AND the joy. Maybe it’s something to do with a lifetime of hiding and stuffing, stuffing down those feelings, pains, hurts, hiding from the harshness. I’ve emerged, ready to face it all. Stronger in many ways, yet utterly changed.
To face one’s self, to see yourself for who and what you are, to unpack it all, it’s a journey. And one that only ends when your time on this earth is done. (And if you believe in the eternity of souls, then a new journey begins.) I tend to believe it, maybe because I always have, and there is comfort in believing that we don’t just end. It boggles the mind. I am not sure I’d ever choose to believe that there is nothing after our bodies die. I understand why people do believe it, more than I ever have understood, but I don’t think I can go there.
I think most people’s lives aren’t set up to have the kind of time needed for deep personal/soul reflection. To excavate it all. It takes massive amounts of time. Maybe that’s why it often comes to people as they age and their lives slow a bit. I’ve gotten off the hamster wheel, I am blessed to be able to, and I am grateful that I can work as much as I want to. Or as little.
I’m off the wheel, and it feels mostly great, but also, I sometimes miss the madness. The pace of life with children always under foot, massive amounts of responsibilities to others. There is a feeling of purpose in it.
But this—this time—there is purpose in it as well. And I search for it daily. In words, in the blank page, the empty canvas. I see it in the eyes of family. I hear and feel their love for me, and I know it doesn’t hinge on my duty for them, or theirs for me.
That rare gem of a true friend, the one you can always call or email or text, and they are always there at the other end. It is a priceless gift.
Thanks for listening my friends.