I was reading through some of my notes the other day and one phrase stood out for me. First a little history. I am currently exploring a new relationship that is both new and old, and involves re-entering a fair amount of personal pain. When I can safely navigate the tempestuous teacups, I will be better, faster, stronger....or maybe I can love the people I love a little bit more, trust them a little bit better. I wrote:
"Let go of fear. What does fear bring me? The illusion of progression. The more I churn, the more I fool myself into believing that I am not freaking out."
I'm a strong minded person. I like to take charge when needed, and I have known myself now for almost forty years. I know my faults and I know my strengths, and yet every year I learn more. And one thing I have learnt is that every year or two, during the coldest months of the year, I deconstruct myself, and then I reconstruct myself.
It's a painful, awful time, and if it wasn't for my friends and pack, it would be a lonely time too. It's always lonely, but as I rebuild who I am every year or so, I know that my own faith and belief in self is strengthened because my partners know what I am going through, and what I am doing. I have a very clear vision of who I am, and where I want to go, and what I want to do. This time of rebirth traditionally is brought about by me imploding from outside pressures, the constant struggles to remain who I chose to be despite the reality of our lives.
This year I am rebuilding myself yet again. I know who I want to be, but this year there's so much more within me. I am building a new relationship, and with it comes dangerous unmapped caverns into my own mind. I have to be reminded to breathe and to use words, and once I gulp air and speak, the churning stops and the tumult dies down to a whisper. I want to get past the illusion of progression, and actually progress. I want to be ready to reach for the stars again.
I don't ever want my life to be determined from fear. I am born of love and I will always try to come from a place of love and compassion. So many parts of the way we view ourselves and our life and loves comes from a position of fear. Fear of loss, fear of pain, fear of not being strong enough... I remind myself of this every day, and I have learnt, yet again, that when I begin to re-open the connections in my heart, all connections are reopened. I remember one year re-learning how to feel, and the tears that came as I felt everything again and this year is much more subtle in scope. I am re-learning my joy, relearning trust and feeling the shape of something new and exciting once I dust off the ashes of the old.
How do I know I am rebuilding? I usually figure it out after a few weeks of incessant internal turmoil. I can sometimes feel paradigms shifting and I spend a good chunk of time vague or distant, my subconscious processing situations or thoughts that have brought new light and learning on previous ideas. For example I often think about the previous year. What happened? What’s been good? What has affected me? What will affect the future me? Am I still who I want to be?
And the key question I ask every day is this: Am I who I want to be? When I look at who I am today, is that who I want to be tomorrow? Do I love, honour and respect myself the way I promised to, when I married myself several years ago? Do I still hold those vows holy? Am I everything I want to be, from mother through to writer, lover and wife, heart sister and friend? Do I act honourably, the way I determine honour, in all situations? And then I look at situations that have happened, and I critique my actions. I never critique myself. I critique the things I choose to do. I try to act with compassion in all things but sometimes I fail. I try to see the other point of view, and I feel the other person’s feelings often to my own detriment, but I do the best I can to minimise pain. When I look back, I hope to learn about myself, so I can handle myself better in the future. I try very hard to care for those around me and this is a part of taking responsibility for my own actions.
If I am not acting in ways I am proud of, or I am not the person I wish to be, then I break down what is stopping me from attaining my potential and I begin the re-build. I have so many loving friends and the internet is a wealth of information. I believe in synchronicity – not that there’s a divine reason behind anything but that sometimes, things just form patterns from which I make meanings. The Universe gives me a kick quite often. Sometimes it hurts more than others!
Sometimes I add things to my Book of Me. The Book of Me is full of hints and tips to myself on how to handle myself better, how to be the person I am determined to be, and how better to look after my changing self and body. I try to re-read it every few weeks, and add to it as needed. Sometimes Ju and I have sat at the table and worked on our Books in companionable silence. It’s a silence filled with a wealth of communication and understanding, and I cherish those times.
This year's rebuild of is never the same as the last time. But there are many new facets to old emotions, where I re-learn how to cope. So many of my comforts have changed, and I am remapping paths back to happiness. Part of that is trusting on the people who love you to have your best interests at heart. I'm scared, as I forge a new path on the map, but I trust in my love. It's all going to work out.