I have been reading some pretty profound blogs this weekend. I like to add a few new ones when I have time. There is a reoccurring theme with all that I have chosen and even those that I read consistently. That there is a lot of discontent, pain and suffering and many methods the various authors are using to get through it all. I am on a break from work. And because the weather is not conducive to travel, I am spending a lot of time at my kitchen table with my reader. I am also spending time reflecting on a few things. As the lights twinkle around me, I again realized how blessed I truly am.
I too spent the past months in absolute discontentment and unrest. This turmoil produced illness, a bad cold that kept on for a while longer than it should. And because of the infection, I was unable to take my medicine for my psoriatic arthritis. My skin erupted and I was pretty crippled up. This added to the downward spiral that seemed was not ever going to stop. And I am not sure how I did stop. I know I had help from a dear friend and guide. It seemed like all of a sudden I was not feeling the angst and anxiety. What happened has me perplexed. I wish I could bottle it like a pill and take it when it happens again, as it will.
When I am in something like this perfect storm, I cannot figure out what to do to get to a safe shore. It is like the more I swirl and dance about the deeper the waves get. And that just produces a deeper sense of suffering. And I know this is a choice and that I do have control to stop the suffering but I cannot seem to find the cord that stops it. AND that produces its own sense of failure adding to the complete bag of garbage I have chosen to carry. Makes no sense to me either. But I know I am not alone. It has taken a long while to understand that; to truly know and feel the connectedness of human frailty and failure.
I have learned one thing that I hope I will remember to employ in the future and that is to just stop. Much like “just be”, I need to literally stop everything and take a break. I have been going “at it” so hard that I was exhausted. That makes me very weak. My sleep is always not good at this time of the year as my dreams are disturbing and my night is fitful. That creates a worn out physical state on top of the depleted soul. However, when I am in this trench, I am too tenacious to just stop. It is because I fear failure. I fear that whatever is happening will win. Win what, I haven’t a clue. So my body shut down and allowed me to get sick. My physical self tried to create a brake and I did not use it. Work was getting piled up because of the lack of planning by others which also was causing me duress. I decided at the last minute to say “f**k-it” (my favorite get out of Dodge statement) and take a few days off. Not much was going to change with the holiday anyways.
My cold is gone. I was able to take a shot and so I am slowly getting back my strength. Because I did so much before, I have time to enjoy the upcoming holiday. I am wallowing in a sea of colored lights and glitter. Last night I sat at the table reading, I felt this overwhelming feeling of contentment. I looked at my tree and the rest of the overly decorated living space and started to cry. It was not because I was sad. It was from relief. There were a lot of things that had been out of alignment that seem to be back of track. My husband was down in his office, which in itself is significant, wrapping presents. The little doggies were contently snuggled down in their beds on the couch and the house still smelled of the baking I had done earlier. There was no major shift in the polar axis, but my world seemed to have stabilized.
I had read something on one of the blogs about the measurement of success. Someone wrote that once people achieve something, they become bored with it. I agree people continually change their needs and wants. It is what propels us forward. There are some who never take the moment to see the achievement for what it is. I see it as a rung on a ladder, a stepping stone to the next thing on the path. There are many things I have done and then moved on. I do not see that as a bad thing or failure in anyway. I just see it as part of my journey. Right now, my goal is to accept the things I do call failure as also being a part of the human experience and embrace it instead of fearing them. From failure comes growth. I need to quiet the voices from my past who doled out verbal punishment with failure. It was what was done in those times and those who spoke learned it from their parents. It is time to banish the circle of admonishment if only in my own head and in my own voice to others.
If success is measured externally, we will never find true joy and “success.” It is the meter inside of us that we need to use as the gage. I forget that a lot. I forget that I am the only one who can make me feel what I feel. This new place in my journey has taught me that even swollen seas of anguish and anxiety have their place. It is the recovery from them that teaches us that every time there is a relief. For the first time, I also can embrace that I am not alone in this crusade and that everyone goes through something from time to time. Being human is to offer a life raft if needed, or the rope to help the swimmer get to the shore. I learned that sometimes you cannot be the raft for someone and that you have to let others be that role. And that is not failure. Being human is also being that swimmer, as we all are at some point. But how glorious is it to know we are not alone because the sea is filled with buoys to help guide us and there is always a Light to help find our way back if we look.