There are those who would argue that change comes slowly. In most cases, I can see how this would be true. People can be fearful of change, reluctant to take the steps necessary to improve their outlook, to alter their lives, to find meaning, to reach happiness.
For me, the change is coming fast and furious. There is a current running through me that leaves me breathless and almost overwhelmed. The feeling is so intense I often feel like crying. The tears lurking at the threshold are ones of joy, but also of confusion and uncertainty. Just last week I wrote about how unsure I am of these feelings. How I’m struggling to understand where they come from, while all the while revelling in the clarity they bring. The clarity is not one of knowing or filled with understanding for why I’m discovering these parts of myself. It’s simply a clarity of mind that is opening up my thoughts, my soul to the nourishment of possibility.
I am changing and I almost can’t keep up. I am changing and fast. My heart literally races in anticipation.
The intensity of this change makes me wonder about the place where I was only a short time ago. There was a darkness. One that covered me in a heavy cloak. A cloak that left me sitting on the floor sobbing on many occasions. A cloak I was desperate to shed, but struggled to uncover. It was taking over so much of me, depriving me of light and joy, and happiness. I stood on a cliff and almost fell over. I felt it. I was toppling into a place that I’m not sure I would have easily come out of. What was that place? Where did that intensity of emotion come from?
That place was so deep, so dark, so all encompassing that I sought help. In seeking my help I discovered that I harbour two essential parts of myself that tend to live in constant disagreement.
My rational self: That which is practical, responsible, driven, but most importantly in control. And my emotional self: That which is intense, loving, sentimental, spiritual and nurturing.
After the death of my mother, my rational self took over, it protected me, provided the coping mechanisms I needed to move forward and become who I am today. It was fundamental to my survival. My rational was there for me when I needed it. But I needed it too young and never understood how it controlled me. And though at different points in my life I have found opportunities to honour and cultivate the emotional part of myself, it has gone largely ignored. I haven’t allowed it the presence it needs in my life. I haven’t given it the power to keep my rational in check.
Just last night a dear friend shared this quote with me:
You don’t need to accumulate knowledge to become wise, anyone can become wise. When you become wise, you respect your body, you respect your mind, and you respect your soul.When you become wise, your life is controlled by your heart, not your head.
don Miguel Ruiz – The Mastery of Love Cards
When she shared it, this post was already starting to brew in my mind. It fit so perfectly, it was almost the key I needed to unlock the last piece of the puzzle. It all clicked.
In writing, and reading, and exploring myself, I have, for the first time, allowed my life to be controlled by my heart. I’ve been, in the words of Lindsay Mead Russell, excavating my soul and my soul is positively radiant from it.
There have been several factors that have had a formidable influence on my thinking. Writers for example. Writers like Christine Carter and her book Raising Happiness, Karen Maezen Miller and Hand Wash Cold, and now Dani Shapiro and Devotion (more on this in a future post).
And there have been bloggers, bloggers like Lindsay at A Design so Vast, and Sarah and Jen at Momalom, and Sarah at sarahcasm, and Kristen at Motherese, and Jana at An Attitude Adjustment, Becca at Drama for Mama, and Belinda at The Halfway Point and so very many others who have given me the courage to share all of this here. The courage to be willing to go there.
There is my therapist who has drawn out parts of me that I had no idea existed. Parts that still require further exploration, but that now I am ready to understand.
And then there is me and my husband, and the strength and support that I get from our friendship, our love and the support that this man so freely gives.
All of this reading, connecting, learning, discovering has played a vital role in helping me to unlock this part of myself, allowing it to breathe. It has opened up the opportunity for parts of myself to unfold, to stretch and feel alive. The thinking, reflecting, relating, and understanding are freeing my emotional side. This part of me that was so deep in my core, so intensely afraid of releasing itself, so afraid of a loss of control.
But in unlocking this part, I’m finding the real me. And I like what I’m finding. But even more than that I’m radiating with the excitement of what else there is to discover.