I haven't been writing much lately. More savoring, more collecting. What I have been is personal, the delicate stories of others that I have been so honored to receive, and my own emotional stumbling as I begin to process what this last month has looked like for me. Then there are days when I feel like I need to write down the stories I'm collecting inside of me but they all feel so personal, so precious, so not mine and so mine but still needing the time to be rolled over inside of me and many times I end up sitting in front of a blank screen.
I'm sitting at my desk at 1pm, drinking peppermint tea out of my cup that proudly declares, "Good Morning, Gorgeous." It's not morning, but some days are like that. I'm bundled up in a big sweater belonging not to me, under a blanket and in front of the open window.
I'm in the process of reminding myself what matters. It seems selfish really, in a world full of people asking for my attention and homework that demands to be done and a life that demands to be lived to pull back, place my hand over my heart and whisper, "No, this is what matters."
I've been in a state of relative dis-ease health wise lately. Little blue pill bottles lined up on my shelf seem to stand in mockery, showing me again how I failed. I stare at them, willing them to work, willing my body to begin working on it's own and no longer need their assistance.
I read this week that it is foolish for someone to think that one sick body part will not effect all the others, but I kind of did think that. So this one nerve in my body isn't doing it's job, but I have been almost drill sergeant in my commands to my other body parts to do their job, and perhaps work overtime to compensate. Unfortunately that is not the case, and I'm feeling the fatigue in all parts of my body.
I routinely quote movies, and after watching Hotel Transylvania 2 my boyfriend and I regularly quote the line to each other, "I just need to feel loved." Last night, in all seriousness, I used that line.
I feel pulled by so many things, am working so hard to put up this façade and be the strong one and have it all together. Sometimes I don't even realize myself what I'm doing until it all comes crashing down around me and I'm left surrounded by the ruin of it all.
I've been working so hard and pushing myself that I don't acknowledge that I'm exhausted and frustrated and feeling empty.
My friend called last week, and challenged me to take care of myself. The goal was to practice yoga at least once that week, and to text her once I had completed my task.
I texted her yesterday morning, and in my text I included a simple line that I learned this summer, one I didn't realize the importance of until I said it.
Alisha has received medicine.
I have pill bottles lined up on the shelf, doctors working to treat my body, but I've been denying myself the medicine I really need. I slipped into my disguise of everything is alright and I just pushed on and did what needed to be done.
And I agree that there is a time for that.
But there is also a time for acknowledging the heaviness. The stories I've been hearing remind me of things in my own past, and I want to be there and help but I can't unless I take care of myself first. I need to acknowledge the ugly bits of my own story before I can help others with theirs. I am sick, and without acknowledging that ugly illness grief I can't begin healing.
I think there is great power in acknowledging our own stories, and sharing them.
We have to be able to name the chains, and then, I think, we have to be able to confess them. To openly admit, “This, right here, this pulls at me. This controls me. This makes me act a certain way. This distracts me from the Center, from the Core, from seeking first God.”
I'm on this journey of the heart, one that was made clear to me when I started this school year but I still resist so much. It's not easy naming your chains, and the process of becoming free is hard. I didn't know that when I started. But claiming that freedom, and taking back my ground is hard.
Sometimes I feel like I don't deserve to walk there, on that ground of freedom. Sometimes I feel like I'm swinging an ax at a big old tree and barely even making a dent. The negative tapes I hear in my head are too loud, there's too much pain, I can't even begin to tackle these things and have it really make a difference.
Right now, much of this practice is about creating space. I'm creating space for these stories, to tell the truth, to get brave again, to love myself, to be loved by others. Space to fight, to take back my heart and mind and soul and body and voice.
This practice, this daily creation of space, however that looks, is medicine. It's healing, and uncurling the ache and it's beautiful.
Dear you, whoever you are, however you got here, this is exactly where you're supposed to be