The box.

…you gutter-brains, get up here to grownup-world; not *that* kind.

The kind full of the past. The kind that, if we’re honest with ourselves, could probably accurately be called Baggage. I opened one of mine tonight. I say “one of,” though I honestly don’t know if I have another – this one was marked as “pre-R,” and hasn’t been opened since I left San Francisco. The relationship with R was one I was comfortable letting go of after Round Two, so little remains of it, if anything – what might still be in my possession from that one is by oversight.

I opened this box to make room for the things I need to put away from more recent times. Yesterday, I was in a mild frenzy, collecting the items throughout my home that I’d allowed to hold space despite my outward intention to take that space back, to hold it myself. It wasn’t until I started really looking that I realized how much there was. The pile sits on my bed, waiting to be discarded or stowed away in a corner of my closet until I’m ready to relieve it of its power entirely.

I thought this would be harder. I thought it would hurt more. I thought I would be overcome and make the wrong choice again. This is why I’ve put it off. But maybe I chose to do this at just the right time, or maybe it would have been okay a week or a month ago. I can’t know, and it’s really not that important. What matters is that, for whatever reason, moving forward is easier this time than it has been in the past, despite the depth of emotion, despite the memories attached to each physical item. What matters is that I realize that I am growing up. Even if not enough to avoid a “box” comment/joke/snicker when it is just too easy.

And the fact that I can do it when I’m saying goodbye to a chapter of my life I thought I was only saying “see you later” to, well… I guess that’s the biggest deal of all.

Year in review.

It sometimes feels like years and sometimes like mere weeks since Melissa and I did our letting go at Kettle Cove. Richard recommended that we revisit my writing from January and see if, despite them not being nearly as prominent a focus as I’d intended to start, I’ve made progress in those areas through the work I’ve been doing all along.

This year has been something else entirely from every year I’ve lived before, and in so many wonderful ways; one of the most obvious reasons to me is that I am not doing the same things over and over and hoping for different results from the people around me. I have made some incredibly hard choices, some devastating mistakes, and some brave decisions. I have drawn lines, doubted myself, and been rewarded when I muddle through tough times without knowing what to expect on the other side. While I am nowhere near the end of this journey toward emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health and well-being, I am a changed woman, and I am grateful for everyone and everything that has helped me along the way so far.

Writing here hasn’t been happening much, and while I can try to tell myself it’s for a handful of reasons, it really comes down to one. And last night I was asked about it, and confronted with the knowledge that I have been hovering at a plateau in my progress around one area of my life. I am still allowing fears, expectations, and resentment to color my actions and inform my decision to write, or not write, here. But the reasons are no longer valid. My understanding of the situation, my emotional investment, and my hopes have all shifted over the last couple of months, and I think I’m ready to say that out loud and not only whisper it to myself in the night, afraid to make it a reality. It is a healthy, sustainable, forward-moving reality, one in which I am master of my domain, able to speak my Truth without fear and to surround myself with people who strive to do the same. One in which I can begin to unlearn some of the behaviors and beliefs of myself that were cultivated in the unhealthy relationships I’ve opted not to continue.

I’ve learned a very powerful, ridiculously simple, and brutally painful lesson since last fall: it is impossible for your heart to heal while you’re still exposing it to the wounding agent. My behavior was like picking the fresh skin off a burn each time a scab began to form, reopening the wound and making it that much more likely to leave a scar. An argument could be made that calluses are also the result of repeated trauma to a body part and can be useful, but in either case, you’re left with hard, deadened, unfeeling skin… Protected from the pain caused by the contact that created it in the first place, but unable to feel anything else, either. I don’t want that for my heart.

So, moving forward, I am going to try to…. do just that. Move forward. No more holding pattern, no more “That’s good enough.” It isn’t good enough until I am doing what feels natural and being my authentic self in all walks of my life. Until there is nowhere, physical or virtual, I cannot visit comfortably. Until I stop trying to figure out everyone but me.

Super powers

It’s an age-old question that’s supposed to tell us so much about ourselves, each other: if you could have any super power, what would you choose? Inhuman strength? X-Ray vision? Mind-reading? Invisibility?

To me, those last two are a little too close to omniscience for comfort. Once upon a time, I absolutely would have wanted that. Think of how easy it would be, knowing what someone was thinking or feeling without the difficulties verbal communication so often cause! How thrilling to see things you’d never be privy to otherwise! But here’s the thing: sometimes when you’re invisible, you see things you don’t want to, or that you had no right to see. Sometimes it’s painful and sometimes it’s angering and sometimes it ruins a surprise. When is what you see when no one knows you’re watching ever a benefit? And sometimes you’re invisible without realizing it, and the thing you shouldn’t see is imposed upon you, and while it isn’t your fault and you didn’t try to be disrespectful or untrusting and you don’t deserve the pain, it comes anyway. But with pain comes clarity, and with clarity comes understanding, and with understanding comes acceptance, and with acceptance comes peace. And so it goes.

As for me? I’ll take the ability to fly. You can keep the rest.