A couple years ago a friend of mine lost her husband to cancer. In a conversation a few months after he died, I made a comment encouraging her to go back to school and pursue something I knew she loved. She told me that pretty much everyone she'd been talking to around that time was encouraging her to *do* something - and she understood that it was out of concern for her feelings of loss and living alone - but that she was deliberately not doing anything for a while because she wanted to 'create some margins' and have the time to adjust to her new way of being.
It was extremely wise of her, and I recognized that my suggestion wasn't necessarily given because I thought it would be better for HER. It was that *I* was worried about her and *I* wanted to feel like she wasn't suffering in her time of grief.
This week, I also had a chance conversation with a colleague about how important it is to allow yourself time and space to be uncomfortable and go through the processes of change and personal evolution. The interior work we need to do as we grow throughout our lifetimes requires periods of quiet and inactivity (as much as modernity can afford us).
And I realized again just how much I've avoided in my life by being busy all the time.
And I realized that a lot of my angst over the past year has been a result of me stepping back from things, making room for this work to happen, and deliberately avoiding filling my time back up with other things.
I'm sitting with uncertainty. Really feeling the discomfort of not knowing things. I'm refusing to drink the kool-aid of mass delusions that others offer in the form of religious, political or other identity-based affirmation that would enable me to ignore the big questions and odd fit of who I am and who I need to be.
There have been days when I felt as though I would lose my mind from discomfort. When I wanted to scream with rage and sadness and fear and self-pity.
I've wanted to peel off my skin and run away from my self.
But I've remained here in this place, for months now. Encouraged by some wise ones who have already been here before and survived. Sustained by the love of people who have chosen to love me even if they don't quite understand.
This is the process. It's horrible, and glorious, and violent and ecstatic - and the only way out is through.
I'll see you in the Promised Land.