Sometimes I don’t understand myself.
The confession initially makes me blanch. But then, from somewhere deep inside, I hear myself whisper it’s okay…this is what it’s about. You’re on a journey. You’re learning…learning to understand yourself…
I’m learning. It’s a process. Trust the process.
Do you ever have those moments when you stumble into exactly what you thought you wanted, and something inside you shrieks out in alarm?
Something tells you not this, not now, not this way. And you’re thinking but why? And you’re not given an answer. You just feel it. You know, intuitively, what is right for you. What feels good. What pulls you in.
This is a journey. A voyage. Trial and error, aplenty. There’s no “right and wrong,” heavens no. There’s only try, and try again. There’s only that was amazing and this feels right and that was not for me. The inclinations and the expectations…they’re all part of it. The journey. We try to control these little peculiarities of life, we try to anticipate them, head them off. We try to analyze ourselves, and others, we try to know what’s coming. We try, in vain, to know what’s best for ourselves ahead of time. Before having the experiences that teach us what is, in fact, best for us.
I had a pretty magical day today. It may not have been so magical had I not listened to my divine intuition, though. It started out with a beautiful yoga practice, one that left me lying in a heap, ready to conk out for a nap in savasana. A nap at 9am, what nerve! A frosty Sunday morning that begged me to just move slowly, to savor, to proceed gently. As I tugged on my warm boots and faux lined coat, I whimpered about the day ahead. I had plans for a fast-moving, highly adventurous, not necessarily gentle day.
Now, who’s to say my day would have been awful. It could, in fact, have been quite incredible. I’ll never know. But I know I haven’t an ounce of regret. I chose to withdraw from my plans, instead turning inward. I’ve been riding a wave of rather intense, emotional energy the past few days, and this brisk Sunday offered me the perfect space to seek solace in solitude. Nourish, my spirit whispered, and so I relented.
The whole story is that I had a date today. I suppose you’d call it a date. Yes, it was a date. I don’t know what my aversion is to that word these days…perhaps it’s reside of the PTSD induced by dating a short string of guys with whom I was never quite certain whether or not I was in fact on a date. Mind-boggling, to say the least. Well it seems I’ve finally met a lovely human being with whom there is no mind-boggle at play. Simply straightforward, clearly communicated interest. Naturally I wasn’t aware that our first date was in fact a date. But in the wake of said first date, I started to barrel roll into some resistance with alarming momentum. Something just felt off.
When we first met, he asked me right to dinner afterwards. After the actual first date, he texted me straightaway. Ample coherent communication, one of my favorite traits in another human being, and on point with making plans. Wow. Someone who can communicate and make plans ahead of time? Whether this was to be just a friendship or something more my subconscious was eagerly pleased to have met my match in the realm of considerate actions.
So then why the resistance? Why did I hole up today, with the dog and my book and a mug of tea, and feel so deeply rescued from the potential of deepening intimacy with another person?
That’s a great question. One I don’t have a solid answer to, I suppose. Like I said, I sometimes don’t understand myself…But I think that’s what has resonated with me most about today. I took a day for me. I’m having a relationship with myself. The relationship with the Self is the most important relationship one can ever have. In the end, all one has is oneself… I do want to better get to know this person, and all likeminded people whose interesting paths cross mine, but I must navigate this portion of the path with caution. Resistance doesn’t pop up for no reason. I am politely treading on it, away from it, but with understanding for its presence.
I’m pleased to say I practiced utmost truthfulness in this endeavor, too. I’m used to being alone, I’ve been flying solo for some time now, and it’s grown quite comfortable. I do what I want, when I want. So having to answer to another beautiful soul, a person who I care for though I hardly know them, immediately called forth more resistance. I am a people pleaser and my instinct was to white lie. Oh I can’t make it, something came up… But I didn’t. I was honest. It’s so terrifying and refreshing and LIBERATING to be truthful! I’m pleased by how well received honesty is, most of the time, and even more elated by how freeing it feels…like splitting open the shutters of the chest and releasing a surge of precious light, held firm by integrity.
Telling the truth feels good. Namely when spoken kindly, with a nod to brevity, and in a state of passive detachment from the effect.
I spent the day in a blissful haze of . Lost in myself. When’s the last time you spent a whole day lost in yourself? It’s not an opportunity we often have. I relish in it. I left the house only to walk the dog in the morning sunshine. I tidied up a bit, did some chores – with an especially unreserved lack of urgency – I slipped from room to room with neither rhyme nor reason. I stopped unexpectedly to investigate corners of the house, sit on the floor, flop down and read my book. I found myself lying, leaning and flopping all about the house with my book, for unknown lengths of time, only dragging myself from the story when thirst sprung or I realized my laundry had finished. I showered lazily in the middle of the day. I enjoyed long, languid meals at my dining room table, pouring over my book. I stood at the window and watched the sweet drippings of twilight, not halting my reverence until the dark had set in, and then I shut the curtains. I wrote a poem. I drank copious mugs of herbal tea.
Something about today shut off my normal mental device, the incessant chitter chatter, the rush. For the first time in a very long time, I spent an entire day – well, nearly an entire day, at least from the moment I made the decision to stay home on – without concern for the time or having to be anywhere. I nourished my soul on such a deep level that it left me in stunned silence. That’s what I expect is going on, inside my brain, this light and yet heavy quiet. Heavy in a profoundly grounding way, light in its buoyancy. Mmm, primed for meditation, I now see…
I suppose the moral of this story is that, while we may not always understand ourselves, it is that very confession that brings us closer to understanding. Closer to ourselves. It’s not fighting it, not challenging the resistance, not asking why but rather acquiescing that builds sacred trust with our own intuition. We are blessed in every breath we take. The silver lining is always there, and sometimes it’s far more brilliant than we could have ever anticipated. If we can just step away from the chronic, ever-anticipating manner, for even a day…sometimes we make the space to breathe. Fully. Deeply. Inhaling and exhaling, without questions or expectations or deep inquiry. Reflecting rather than investigating. Listening rather than speaking.
We can be good listeners to ourselves, too, you know. It’s not a luxury and it’s not just an honest courtesy reserved for family and close friends. Our minds speak at us all day long. Yes, speak at us. Turning our minds into a listening instrument, letting our soul do the speaking, is much gentler…much more quiet. It leaves us much more at ease. That’s where I am, this evening. At ease.
So the next time your soul is whispering…do listen. You just might be surprised by how much it helps you understand.