For some, life comes easily, naturally. For others, life just comes, and keeps coming… over and over and over…to teach, to show, to help us grow. I am on the bumpy path of growth. It’s a personal journey, everyone looks at their lives from their own vantage point, from their own frame of reference, from their own heart and mind. My perspective comes from my inner place, guided by a universal “source,” invisible and earthly spiritual guides, angels, and even from those around me.
I never know when or how each day will present my “lessons.” I am conscious of them, try to pay attention to them, and consciously work on them in the moment, regardless of the difficulty. There is discomfort with growth, and it’s in those precise moments that I know I have a choice of how to react, how to respond, how to change.
These moments can come full force like bullets, as is often the case for me, or they can gently wave over me, even through me, acknowledged or not. I try to acknowledge my feelings, good and bad, and honor them…and then change them. I want “good” to grow, so I ask for more. I want “bad” to be better, so I fight my way through them, seeking dissolution and freedom.
My mind has been trained, for years and years. For as long as I can remember I have endured emotional trauma, physical trauma, and ongoing “stress.” I have always tried to process it, but I feel like I have been “doing it wrong.” Unsure of how to assimilate the emotions that ripple or thrash to the surface, I have only recently become aware of how to try to shift in the moment to a better, softer, calmer space. And it takes practice.
Then there are those moments where the shifting energy is so great that it is like bumping into an invisible but visible door opened by the universe beckoning me to come through. We never know what will be on the other side of that door, who is there, or what will unfold.
I had the complete joy and privilege this week of reuniting with a childhood friend, who is living the life that I had dreamed of. I say that with no envy, but with admiration, and with awe. I look at her and think about who she is, and how she is able to create the life she wanted, seemingly with ease, determined but confident that she can live her life of her intention, with purpose, and with clarity. And also, without drama. If drama appears, she morphs it into peaceful opportunity, appropriate choices, and seems to let it flow over her as if it were just a soft rainfall that will pass. Amazing.
Seeing her, hearing her talk about our childhood together, reminding me of who I was then, it opened a door. I can see it right here in front of me, the hindsight view so clear, more clear than ever. I made poor choices earlier in my life. I could sharply see where I went wrong…if I want to look at it as “wrong,” and not just as it was. It feels wrong, I am not my authentic self. I am true to others–their needs, their wants, their demands, even their control. But I am not true to myself by only paying attention to others. I have lost myself through years of the inability to take care of myself on a deeper level.
How did that happen? A traumatic childhood that mostly existed behind the closed doors of our family, I believe has caused me to block out most of my life. It’s almost like amnesia, barely a snippet of any memory can come into focus. My friend’s presence, her detailed, nearly photographic memory of our childhood, made me see more than ever how I can’t see. Almost desperate for memories, I feel unsettled. Listening to her talk about our time together, knowing as she said it she was right, I dug deep trying to remember things.
I want to sit with her and hear about my life growing up. I want to remember. I want to know myself so I can get on with my soul-growth and put the past behind me, clearly.
I can also see plainly how some of my authenticity is coming into focus. My life with my husband, our connection, being together. Without words, we know that our time together is “right.” Can’t explain it, don’t need to. When we stop and listen to ourselves, we know what is right. But the physical reality around what we know to be right and what we can do about it oftentimes does not mesh.
We have 5 children, who we love very much, and for now, our lives are dedicated to raising them. It’s hard, I’m tired. It’s busy, so busy that our needs, both personally and together can be neglected. What we want to do is not compatible with what we can do at this time. It’s so close we can taste it. What we need to do for ourselves is right at the surface, unable to be fully integrated. The door is open but we aren’t sure how to walk through it.
My friend has. And I see her on the other side, reaching out, showing me that I can. But how? What do we do with those in our lives who have control over our ability to move forward for ourselves? Not just abusive ex-spouses, but jobs that chain us without emotional or financial fulfillment, raising a large family, endless schedules, aging bodies, and spinning minds.
There is so much I want to do–basic, simple, everyday things. I want to read a book, watch a movie, sit down and not worry about all I “have to” do. I want to feel better physically, be able to go out and do things without exhaustion, without limitation, without discomfort. I want to write a book, be creative, experience things. I want to make a difference for me, in my life, and feel good about what I am doing. I want to stay awake and be comfortable both in body and in spirit, without the burden of exhaustion, or financial issues, or overwhelming circumstances surrounding my children. I want to soulfully grow without feeling or working at it, just for a while. I want to see clearly, in every direction.
I don’t know what is yet to come today. I am paralyzed, momentarily. Grounded in my heart and soul, unsettled in my life. Seeing my friend through the frame, holding my husband’s hand, ready to go through the door. Now what.