My daughter’s winter break is nearing its end. She goes back to school in less than 48 hours and she’s not happy about it. For me, I’m sad because it means that her life goes back to crazy-busy and our time together is filled with homework and sleep. I have really valued this break with her, more than any other break before.
Perhaps that is because of the anniversary that is coming for us… January 19th.
So much changed that day. And, it has taken until this day for me to see just how much of me has been altered.
I look at my daughter differently now; cherishing the little things, reveling in the joy, supporting her through the sad times. I have been inspired to change the way I parent her, the way I interact with her, to release my control, and to let her fly. Changing that about me has been frightening, as if me controlling her would somehow make it so she was always safe and always made the right choices and always created relationships with people who treat her right. I can now see how much judgment was in the control. Who is to say my right is right for her? It isn’t. Her way is right for her. And that is some of what I’ve learned from knowing and loving Jen and her kids.
I am profoundly surprised by the strength of The Nothing right now. In the past, I’ve been able to pop myself out of it as soon as I got uncomfortable enough. I would get busy and start doing – something, anything – just so I wouldn’t have to pay attention to The Nothing. This time though, try as I might, I cannot pop myself out of The Nothing. It holds me close and still, breathing with me. It continually invites me to stay, to breathe, to feel. And that is the worst part. The feeling.
I want to run away or hide from these feelings. I don’t want to have to feel these feelings. Why can’t they just “go away” like they always have? Thing is… they don’t go away. They just hide and simmer and become something else if they’re not addressed. And, this time around, although it is uncomfortable, I am being with the pain that has called me into The Nothing, I am being with my broken heart and my shattered hopes and my now-empty dreams. It is time.
One thing that is different this time in The Nothing is the fact that I can really appreciate life around me. In the past, while in The Nothing, everything looked ugly and hateful. Perhaps it was because I was fighting The Nothing instead of surrendering to it. Whatever the difference is, I’ve come to understand The Nothing as my gift.
And while I’m here, I am changing. Gentle, ongoing changes. I am dismantling, disintegrating, and regenerating. I am feeling the depths of my human emotions and being with them. I am embracing and cherishing this human life as I break it down to the core particles to create myself anew.
Last night, I had dreams of worry. My identity had been stolen in the dreams and I heard my conscious mind remind me that, in the “real” world, my identity had also been stolen. Twice in the last seven months. Then my conscious mind reminded me of how many people in the last week spoke to me of having their identity stolen and all the havoc it created. I awoke in a deep sweat, fearing that I had a mess to clean up. It was a big enough of a scare that I left my bed and researched my credit life. No havoc there.
I went back to bed. This time to dream of being restrained against my will, of having someone that I didn’t want in my space holding me close and not allowing me to move at will. I struggled to get free of his grip, but it was unrelenting. I jerked away from him hard enough that my entire physical form in the “real” world jerked too, waking me up with a start.
In the light of day, as I look out from The Nothing and out through the window to the beautiful day that is rising before me, I realize that the fears I have about what is happening in The Nothing are really, really big. I understand that the changes I wrought yesterday by attending Divine Improv and by being willing to simply be and feel here in The Nothing at the same time is altering me irrevocably.
I am making way for whatever is to come. I am creating a new identity and I am releasing me from all of the binds I have created for myself on my own and with the help of others.
It is scary as hell to be compassionate with myself in a time like this. Especially when I want to be mean, as I have in the past. It is a certain kind of vulnerability when I choose to allow myself to have this human experience be mine wholly.
I always welcome your thoughts, questions, and comments.
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