A couple of weeks ago I had, well... an interesting week. Monday was great, I wrote an entire post about over coming over thinking, I got stuff done, everything was good.
Then Tuesday rolled around and I went on a rollercoaster. I went to go get a breast ultrasound done and unexpectedly had a mammogram as well. At about the mid point, I started to lose my cool and almost had a hysterical fit just prior to the mammogram. If you've ever had these tests done for reasons other than routine screening, you will understand that they are stressful and it's scary. In my case I was facing my fears over some changes that had occurred in my body and had been ignoring for a number of months. This was me being responsible about my health, facing reality and getting myself checked out. But I didn't realize that it was going to be such an ordeal. Even booking the tests brought about a good amount of psychic distress, and after bursting into hysterical tears of terror in the car after my appointment, I went home, took the rest of the day off and really pondered the concept of looking at self care as more of a continual process of self preservation. Everything I did for the remainder of the day was about self preservation.
On Wednesday I planned to take it easy, but still ended up doing some chores, meal planning & grocery shopping. In other words, it was a typical day.
Thursday was fun. By this point I'd been considering resolving my need to over-think for almost a week and the time felt ripe for me to really lay it to rest. I realized that whatever groundwork I covered and wrote about earlier in the week was a load of garbage, a product of my mind over thinking and trying to protect itself. So I started afresh and ended up going on a deep dive journey to the heart of the matter. For the record, my need to over-think, my inability to make decisions for myself or to engage in self supporting habits (and other things), stems from a belief that I am not supposed to be here. As in, I'm simply not supposed to exist, so why should I try? Pretty deep and per usual, totally made sense to me in the context of my life so far. It was beautifully resolved that day and without a doubt things changed immediately.
On Friday at about 1:10 in the morning I woke up, my throat was on fire and it was extremely painful to swallow. This ripened into a full-blown flu that had me in bed sleeping for five and a half days. All Friday I was thinking "I gotta write my blog post, I gotta do my newsletter... " But I simply could not be upright for more than 15 minutes without feeling like I was going to fall over. All I was capable of doing was getting horizontal and closing my eyes. This continued for a few days.
I remember sitting there on Friday morning, feeling how exhausted my body was and really peacefully accepting it. I surrendered in that moment to the needs of my body without thought, something I had never done before. There would be no attempt to force myself to do anything and I was cool with that. I see this as a personal triumph although it shouldn't be, but after a lifetime of ignoring my body or forcing it against it's ability, this was huge.
I kept putting off my writing till later, thinking that maybe I might be feeling well enough to do it later on. This clearly did not happen! By Sunday I was thinking, what if I just don't do it? And there was a little voice inside of me that said: I don't want to do it, to which I said: alright.
That's the nutshell version. A bunch of things occurred to me either slightly before, or while I was in and out of my comatose state and further this week as I recover. They have all been swirling around in there, each a topic I could speak on individually, but then they coalesced into a picture that brought me to my decision to just stop what I'm doing and chill out for a bit. Here is my attempt to share:
1. After 6 months of diving deep into my psyche to resolve, release and otherwise take down the false structures that have been ruling my life (let's call it internal architecture bulldozing), I am now entering the rebuilding phase of my life. Right after I cleared up that need to over-think I just got this feeling that I was done. That I was done cleaning up that garbage and now the door to everything wanted was unlocked, I just had to walk through it and start to make things happen. I really feel ready and able now to start making real changes in my life that I was unable to conceive before. I am ready to build a new life from the ground up. I feel flexible and embodied in a new way now. I'm starting to entertain new possibilities that are exciting me. It's time for the next stage of my life.
2. I am more or less burnt out on many levels. I know it's easy to say that when you have the flu and can't physically do anything, but hear me out. My capacity has slowly been declining for some time. My inspiration and enthusiasm have been waning. I feel physically run down and my body is in a bad way, being inflamed often, and often I have a day of flu like symptoms that just randomly descends and disappears just as quickly. The glands in my throat are swollen up more often than not... But the most telling sign is that I often think about stuff I want to do, but just cannot imagine how I can fit it into my life, not because I'm busy, but because I don't have the energetic capacity for it. Like I can only do one thing per day and even that I do slowly/feebly. I understand now that I've just been treading water for so long, this lack of capacity for life just crept up on me without me noticing. But it is not normal and there is so much more that I could be doing with my life. This delicate balancing act I have been engaged in, where I have just enough self care to match my demands, but nothing more just isn't going to cut it anymore. That brings me to my next point...
3. I have never had a good routine of self care, even at a basic level, due to the many beliefs that got in the way of me taking even the most basic care of myself. These beliefs looked like: I'm not supposed to exist, I'm unlovable, I’m not worthy etc. I have also been unable to care for myself because of beliefs that I must put others before me for simple survival reasons. There was a denial of needs because it's inconvenient for other people, a belief that I couldn't physically take care of myself, a belief that I had to be punished, and that there had to be something wrong with me because other people wouldn't make the effort to love me... the list goes on. The point is there has been a tremendous amount of self-rejection, denial and inability to love myself at the bottom of all this which has now shifted immensely. It is now time for me to work on creating a foundation of habits where I cultivate not only self preservation but also my sense of self, my identity, my pride and so on. This is the area that I'm embarking on full force starting next week.
4. When I made the decision to create a blog, then a newsletter and later a website, I was doing it because I thought I had to, not necessarily because I wanted to. Now thanks to acknowledging that little voice that said I didn't want to write a post, and considering my next steps forward in life, I'm questioning if it is something I want to continue to do at all. At certain times I have really enjoyed writing and sharing my journey and the things that I have learned, but where once I was inspired to write I am falling more and more into writing because of obligation category and I'm resenting it a bit. Also writing does take my energy and with my capacity just slowly draining away, I recognize that right now I need to concentrate on building myself back up to a place where I at least feel inspired to share. Acting out of love and inspiration is very important to me and who I am.
5. And finally, even if I decide to continue to write a blog, or continue anything else that I started because I thought I should, I cannot continue to do it as is right now. I need to start my rebuilding my life, my self care and my identity with a blank slate and that means putting aside what I have started, for a short while or maybe indefinitely. I don't know what the future holds and I'm not going to predict either way.
When I put this all together I suddenly felt WAY better about everything. Like I was off the hook and could finally just do what I wanted, what I felt called or inspired to do. I've officially decided to put everything down and concentrate on myself for, at a minimum, the next 6 weeks. I am putting a pause on any effort to post something each week. I'm closing up shop and going on a vacation. I'm saying yes to myself and taking the much needed time to relax, recuperate, recover from this flu, and prepare for the next phase of my life. I'm going to work on building up my reserves and putting in place framework to not only preserve myself going forward, but framework to support and concentrate my energies so I can achieve a level of potency of self that I truly desire. I am really looking forward to it.
I highly doubt I will be going through this time without writing anything since it is just such a huge part of my life. There are so many things that I want to talk about and share and writing is just my thing, but even in this domain I see an opportunity to put in some useful framework. A lot of the time there is really no definition between my own personal journaling, especially as I am working through something, and what I want to share with the world. I hope to gain some concrete definition between the two that is useful to all. I hope to define my voice a bit more too and get really concrete on what I want to talk about.
Anyway, here is where I sign off to go take care of myself, which is in my mind the greatest act of self-love a person can do. This is about laying the groundwork for the rest of my life, as I find and define who I really am.