Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Harmony and Discord

Okay, I'm struggling with vulnerability.  Yep.  So, I thought I'd lay some things out here, and just trust that it's okay to let people know that, indeed, there are many times when I'm just not feeling like a rock star.  Discord.

I'm launching into my dissertation year.  This, coupled with a change in season, some feelings of failure at work, and a slight fear of the future, and confusion about how to make my present what I want, have left me in a bit of a black place the past couple of weeks.

I have found that despite the fact that cerebrally I know my life is really gorgeous, and that there are so so many things to look forward to, I have been a little flat lately.  A lot of this stems from the fact that I'm nervous about resuming my status as a workaholic, and the other part of me is afraid I don't know how to put my head down and do the work I need to do any more.  Some of the blackness stems from the fact that I have been cleaning up some dangling details from divorce (how's that for alliteration surrounding a negative experience?).  I don't like that things are still needing cleaning up.  I'm frustrated with myself for feeling residual feelings of anger.  But, there they are.  I'm not at all angry at the outcome, but I am angry with myself for what I let occur in my life.  And I'm angry with myself for being angry.  These layers make it messy to untangle what the truth is.

One thing I do know as truth?  If I don't go ahead and feel what I feel, it's going to sneak out of me in really counterproductive ways.  So, in order to figure out what I'm feeling and what needs to occur in my life to remedy it, I have to sit with it, not ignore it.  So, this week, I invited the anger and frustration in.  I poured it a drink, made up the guest bed (as it seemed to be hanging out for a time), and I indulged its company until it made me:  1) laugh at myself, and 2) take action.

Forgiving ourselves doesn't happen overnight.  Shifting from "what the hell was I thinking?" to "what did I learn from the experience?" doesn't happen overnight either.  It's a constant process.  And it's one that takes a lot of patience and compassion.  I realized that because I was sick of the process, I assumed all of my friends were too, and I was refusing to tell anyone that I was struggling.  Because, really, I like timelines:  After three months, you should be _____________; After a year, you should be _________.  How arbitrary these deadlines are.  How ridiculous to try to apply linear thinking to something so circuitous and messy as emotion.  How fabulous it would be if we could simply have ego-botomies (I hope you know what I'm trying for there even if it doesn't make any sense as I've written it).  The fortunate part of a process is that we learn from it.  The tenth or one-hundredth time something surfaces, it's familiar, we know it, and we know why it's there.  It doesn't mean that we're cured from having to deal with it, but it's no longer scary or confusing...it's just what is.  Maybe I'm getting closer to letting go of the judgment I place on myself.  Maybe, one day, I'll be able to say, "it's neither good nor bad, it just is."

So, these feelings of discord will eventually lead to resumed harmony.  The nice part about faith is that I honestly believe this.  And if I can open myself up again, instead of shutting down, shutting people out and hiding when I'm not feeling like I wish I was, then harmony will be faster coming.  One would think this would be a lesson that I had learned already as well (see the judgment rearing its head again?).  My friends have never once said, "No, Lisa, I really don't want to hear what's going on with you.  I'd rather you were distant and strange for a while."  And I know I would feel the same way.  We want the shared humanity; we need it.  I forget how much love there is.  And how much patience.  And this is where I find harmony in the world.

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