My posts have been spotty of late, and my critical mind wants to lament and wail about my lack of discipline. Then the practical adult in me recounts what I’ve been doing with my days and nights and counters the critic with Now just where do you think we’d find the time to write when we’re not even getting enough time to sleep? The critic then makes it a bad thing to change my routine, to have a different schedule. It’s addicted to feelings of shame, anxiety, and unworthiness. It’s saying I need to go back to the way things were. But things aren’t the way they were. Not even a little. Things have changed. I am glad about that. I am a part of all things, even though my ego would tell me I am separate. I have changed too. I am glad about that. I don’t need to feel guilty for changing, for adopting a different routine, for using my time in different ways. Therefore, I am glad to write when I can, and not a minute before. (Takes a deep breath and lies down on the floor, looks out the window at a puffy, white cloud floating in the blue sky, relaxes and sighs.)
A part of my healing journey has been to loosen up a little on some of my routines. I have been accused of being rigid, too attached to my routines, and each time I felt the urge to defend my practices if not out loud, then inwardly, to myself. As I began to peer inside a little more, I could see how my routines were sometimes fillers, excuses not to be completely present, because I could check out as I attended to them… and so this need to defend my practices came from anxiety that they might not be serving me, and the pain of feeling like my time spent doing them was a complete waste. Then again… Is there such a thing? Could it be that my practices served me then, but I eventually outgrew them, and now they no longer serve me the way they did before? Could I drop the shame around change? Don’t we learn by making mistakes? Can’t I ease up about being perfect, being right, and instead, can I welcome this moment with my heart that yearns to love more open?
The sun disappears at night but it always comes back. The warm weather makes way for the cold but the warmth always comes back. My peace, my happiness, like the sun, like the warmth wax and wane with the fluctuations of time, but they always, always come back. Thank God for what always comes back.
I’ve been keeping this blog for years now, and this is my 6th consecutive year of NaPoWriMo. Hey, a pandemic can’t stop poetry, good news, right? Today’s prompt on the NaPoWriMo site recommended trying out a metaphor generator. I had some fun with it, but it didn’t inspire any poetry. So, I’ll just be doing my thang today…which is simply showing up and allowing what wants to be said to come forth…
As I grope for some kind of sane rhythm in the aftermath of our loss of normalcy I am comforted by what doesn’t change.
I still grow tired at night. I still eat, drink, use the bathroom. I still breathe.
Just breathe. Just relax. Look around you. This moment. Don’t try to figure it all out. The moment is always changing, and the understanding you have now is different from the one you will have tomorrow. It is enough to just be who you are. It is enough to just breathe. This moment. Look around you. Just relax. Just breathe.
After all this time practicing presence, all this work appreciating possibility, all this meditation on realizing my potential, I recognize that I’m just as attached to my carefully crated reality as everyone else. When faced with the loss of everything familiar, I can’t help but panic, mourn, grieve. It’s humbling to admit after saying so many times I wanted my life to change that now all I am I doing is craving the routine.
It’s up to me. I choose how I go through this. I choose my response. The old habit may be to panic, catastrophize and focus on what could go wrong, but this habit isn’t helpful. It isn’t life-affirming, or empowering. It doesn’t enable me to offer my gifts to the world. Why not breathe? Why not practice gratitude for what could be an incredible opportunity for awakening, for transformation? Why not envision a realm of infinite possibility? Let’s collectively create a brand new habit called: awakening to our blessings, envisioning possiblity, offering our gifts in service to the greatest good!
Some part of me keeps waiting for the magic wand to be waved or some swtich to be flipped or some magical incantation uttered… and then suddenly My whole life is fixed… But I’ve been around long enough to know that life doesn’t work like this. Which is a good thing, come to think of it, because how many times have I been grateful for unanswered prayers?
We have it backwards. We think that when we change, heal, get the car, the relationship, the recognition, then we can love ourselves— but it’s the other way around. When we love ourselves then we will change. Self-love is the engine of all healing and transformation.