Single to married. Married to separated.
Babies’ sleeping routines, children’s eating habits, teenagers’ moods.
Anticipation of event, expectations dashed, disappointment, memories of what was.
Dad insists on walks that we don’t want to take. Dad insists on driving because he is no longer able to walk that far without pain.
Meet an amazing friend. She moves away.
First layer. Second layer. Colour on colour.
Mystery to friendship to interest to desire to sadness to loss to joy.
A wrinkle here, a sag there, another grey.
Changes are the one thing I can count on.
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Sometimes I crave alone time. Then, when I have it, I crave connection.
In my solitary times, I tend to think I am “doing it wrong” – that I’m not using the time I have in the best way possible. Often, I’m not; I fall into predictable patterns of procrastination, time-wasting, and addictive habits. I have really good intentions around how to make the best use of my time alone, yet I rarely see these intentions becoming a reality. The same thing often happens in connection, too – I often feel that I am “missing something”, and not experiencing as deep a connection as is possible in that moment. Ah, the mind of a perfectionist! It seems I often want what I don’t have, which is the cause of suffering.
This is my work: accepting what is present before me, and allowing myself to feel whatever comes up. My solitary moments are particularly challenging for this. I recognize this challenge: the desire to feel, alongside the fear of feeling.
There are many: my body, dancing, family, friends, painting, singing, creating, hugs, touch, sex, books, nature, walking, sunshine, chocolate, inner strength, motivation, meditation, crystals, food, tea, ritual, colour….
The trick is remembering to use them.
Flex it. Strengthen. Practice and move.
Relax it. Soften. Hear and surrender.
Tighten it. Strain. Harden and ache.
Remember it. Listen. Release and allow.
When I feel unsupported, my lower back aches.
When I am holding back what I want to say, my throat constricts.
When I am being a perfect perfectionist, my skin breaks out.
When I am insecure and feeling a lack of self-worth, I shut off feeling from the neck down. I’m working on opening this up, so I can access my body’s wisdom in this.
When I am ecstatic, my skin tingles, and my blood warms me.
When I am aroused, my skin shivers at the slightest touch.
When I am nervous, my cheeks flush.
My body listens. My body knows. My body never lies.
Lately, whenever I’ve been triggered into feeling a lack of self-worth, I’ve been turning to B to help me through it. I always have the awareness that this is something I want to be able to do on my own, but most of the time I feel stuck, and so I don’t. We agreed last night that I will, for the time being, refrain from contacting him when I’m feeling this way. It’s draining on his energy, and it’s keeping me from developing my own skills at helping myself feel what I’m feeling, to move through it, and most importantly, it’s preventing me from discovering my own inner wisdom and strength. By leeching from his, I don’t have the need to find my own.
My body holds the wisdom I seek, and I look forward to discovering what it wants to say. It’s like I’m an explorer of a new land, charting the territory of the emotions as they arise in my body. This place within me is mostly undiscovered, and while it’s scary for me to contemplate doing this on my own, I expect that experiencing it for myself will be a rich and fulfilling journey.
I choose to stay open to experiencing all my feelings.
I choose to stay open to a life of abundance.
I choose to stay open to another’s discomfort or anger, while taking care of myself, and remaining grounded.
I choose to stay open to making mistakes, not being perfect, and shutting down in my ability to do what I know would help me in the moment.
I choose to stay open to laughter, fun, joy, pleasure, and happiness.
I choose to stay open to sadness, anger, grief, frustration and despair.
I choose to stay open to the possibilities in new friendships, new connections, and new days.
I choose to stay open to the world around me.
I choose to stay open the the need to shut down once in awhile, and close off from the world. In doing so, I am choosing to remain open to my internal world.
I choose to stay open to the existence of choice, and the certainty of change.