Well hello! It feels so good but also so rusty being back here again. I feel so awkward writing again- fumbling through the thoughts in my head and putting them down on paper. The fact that I haven’t posted in almost two years makes me feel a flood of emotions: sorrow, reflection, shame, acceptance, frustration, pride. Like everything in life, it’s light and it’s dark and it’s beautiful and messy.
This Messy, Complicated Life
My heavier emotions arise from the fact that I know writing heals my soul and I haven’t made time for it. It’s my most natural form of creative expression. Writing is the easiest way for me to enter a flow state- where I feel calm, focused, and connected. For me, writing is a spiritual act. It’s meditative, healing, and makes me feel the most like “me.” When I sit down to write, my shoulders relax, my heart opens, and my mind clears. My entire being- my aura, my chakras, every cell in my body- seems to shift and return to its natural state.
So why would I deprive myself of this for almost 2 years? The answer is complex, mutli-layered, messy.
I wish I had an easy answer for this one. Because that would mean I had an easy solution. But like most things in life, it’s messy. It’s complicated. It’s beautiful and ugly and right and wrong all at the same time.
It’s darkness and light woven together into the intricate pattern that is life.
Walking Each Other Home
On the one hand, I don’t even want to go into all of the reasons I’ve been neglecting my writing/personal creativity. Because they’re all essentially excuses. We make time for what matters. We prioritize what matters. So this brings me to the sad but relatable conclusion that I didn’t prioritize properly. I didn’t make time to connect with what lights me up spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
Oh, I made plenty of time for other things. I gave my entire heart and soul to my career. Whatever energy I had left after long days at work went to supporting loved ones and helping to navigate their journeys. Then any fumes that remained were spent on activities that don’t fuel my soul the way that writing does.
Quite the Years
It’s been a hard few years. Years of survival and pushing through. Surviving the 12 hour work days and 3 hours of commuting. Surviving the unexpected challenges that fueled my unhealthy work-life balance. Work became my way to escape the weight of the heavy emotions swirling around me in other parts of my life.
Don’t get me wrong: these years have also brought immense beauty. I’ve traveled to Cambodia, Thailand, France, Mexico, and Vermont. I moved into a beautiful home in the country with the love of my life. I’ve learned and grown at jobs that allow me to be creative and intentional. I’ve had experiences with friends and family that made me cry tears of joy. I’m eternally grateful for these moments. But overall, these have been intense years of growth and expanding my capacity to hold pain and darkness.
Reflection and Acceptance
So here’s where the reflection, acceptance, and pride come into play. Now that I finally have some space to pause, I’m reflecting on why I made the choices that I did. Why did I choose to numb out with work, tv, food, drama, anxiety?
Well, those things are comforting to me. They’re familiar. But the deeper reason is that I was afraid of how powerful I just might be if I approached these dark situations with trust, awareness, and receptivity.
My old pal self-sabotage. I could write endless words on the topic, but I think these well-known words by Marianne Williamson sum up the topic perfectly:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” – Marianne Williamson
How powerful could I be if I allowed the darkness and its lessons to flood through me? If I waded through the pain instead of frantic attempts to avoid it? The energy spent resisting the darkness is so much greater than the force of the actual pain itself. This is one of our greatest challenges as humans: how to dance with pain in a world that allows no space or time for messiness.
These past years almost felt like my real self, my soul, was hibernating. Taking shelter through the storm. The thing about survival mode is that you don’t even realize you’re in it until you come out the other side.
So now that I finally have some perspective and awareness, I can begin slowly and lovingly emerging. But transitioning out of survival mode is not easy. When you’ve existed in an extended state of fight or flight, you almost forget how soft life can be. Lightness and ease don’t feel natural anymore.
Now is my time for acceptance and recognition. These past years were hard and that’s ok. I choose to acknowledge my strength and persistence rather than lamenting what could’ve been. I am here. I am still standing. Still breathing. Still loving.
Now here I am. Burnt out but not broken. Ready to expand. I’ve learned lessons and finally feel ready to integrate them. To feel through this new awareness.
I’m not the same person I was 2 years ago. This new version has even greater capacity to hold darkness. But with that comes an even greater capacity for light, pleasure, and joy.
So stay tuned as I share from this new place. This wider container. Stronger awareness and deeper compassion.
Here’s to loving each other and ourselves through it all – the light, the dark, and everything in between.
I learned so much! Thank you for this relatable and inspiring post, Susan.