Something a friend said to me the other day really stuck with me. I was telling her about how confusing things have been since I’ve been back in Perth. How things seemed so clear back in Thailand when I was finally feeling free and happy on my new path. I begun to discover who I was, what I was passionate about and had a newfound sense of strength in knowing what I wanted. And since I’ve come home, I’ve never been more unsure of where I’m at. To the point I don’t even know who I am anymore or what I want. Surprisingly she knew exactly what I was talking about even though I didn’t even know myself and said that she described that feeling as “muddy”. The part where you get deeper into the layers and things get murky and muddled up. Gone are the very clear feelings of anxiety or fear as I work through my stuff. Gone is that indescribable sense of happiness and freedom as my passion for life returned. I’m feeling the most balanced I ever had been, but like I’m spinning round in circles and have lost myself in the process of self-healing. And then it hit me. I’m a frickin’ lotus. Still.
I’m sure you’re all familiar with the analogy of the lotus and its journey through the darkness into the light. Emerging from muddy waters only to blossom into something beautiful, a symbol of strength among adversity. Sure, I’ve made this connection before. But I had always seen my mud as being the husband dying from a fatal disease thing… Surely that’s all there is, no? So my emerging part was in Thailand. A rebirth if you will. And I thought I was done and could go home. (Not really, but quite literally.) But it’s that whole spiral and deeper truths thing happening. I didn’t realise it was so easy to slide back down into the mud. Crap.
That’s what has been happening though. I’ve been experimenting a lot to see where I fit into the grand scheme of things. It’s like I’ve graduated with my butterfly wings and have realised they’re actually very awkward and get in the way. I keep banging into things and get knocked off balance. I mean, essentially I’m challenging everything I once knew.
I think when Mike died it could have been very easy to let it stop me from living my life. And just give up. I’m regretting a little bit that I didn’t fully immerse myself in that. Even just for a little while. But I charged ahead. I knew what hurdles lay ahead of me and I didn’t want to stop to think of how hard it would be otherwise I wouldn’t even try. And I’ve learnt a lot along the way. I’ve gained strength through facing my fears. And I’ve fallen into a heap when it was all too much. And then I realised I needed to settle and work on my health. But I think I’m realising that I came home to find my balance again. And that has been much harder than anything I’ve ever faced before. Because there’s nowhere to hide now. It’s just me. And my mud.
And now I’m at the point where I’m sitting in the mud. In the darkness. And it’s kinda cosy. But I’ve seen the light. So I’m wondering why the hell I’m back here again. Fear is no longer my motivator. It’s not about drastic changes anymore. It’s about all the murky stuff that lies beneath the surface now. And it feels like I’m going nowhere fast. It feels like a slump. Like I must be depressed instead of anxious. But it doesn’t feel like that either. I feel more calm and balanced, like I can deal with things now. But not much else. It’s a really bizarre feeling. Like I think I’m doing good, but not great. And it just is what it is at the moment. That prolonged state of discomfort while I perhaps make sense of all the changes over the past couple years or so. And figure out where I’m at now. I’ve challenged myself and done things out of my comfort zone. And that comfort zone is much wider now. And I can try all these new things without freaking out now but I don’t think I necessarily enjoy them anymore.
Without that passion, I begin to wonder why I do them anymore. I want to give up but not enough to actually do it. Yet this eery, murky waters territory is so new and calm that it actually feels very frustrating. I wonder if I should be doing more and then I think, what else could I possibly be doing? I’m studying my art therapy and doing the therapy… And that coupled with my kinesiology is some powerful shit. And I’m doing my best to move on with a lot of dead ends lately. So I’m beginning to cotton on that there actually isn’t anything more I could possibly do. That heading into the darkness and working on all my muddy layers is just that at the moment, dark and muddy. And it feels more like I’m stuck at the moment. Like I’m waiting for the crocodile to appear and swallow me up. But he’s not there anymore.
I’ve been in such a fight or flight state for years that I’ve always been on the alert for danger. Obviously it’s not healthy to remain in that state for so long. But that was what I literally had to do. Never getting a good night’s sleep because I was listening out for Mike, making sure he didn’t have a fall or later wondering if I would get THE call from the nursing home… I basically turned into a protective caveman, never being able to rest or relax. So this eery calm is really strange for me. I’m learning to rewrite that pathway that has told me danger is on the horizon. And it probably still is. Life hands you shit, and then it hands you more. And no offense 2016, but I’m not impressed. The difference here, I suppose, is not even knowing I’m going to be okay, but wanting to be okay. Because I’ve taught myself time and time again I can trust myself to get me through anything that comes my way. But believing I want to be happy again and giving myself much more to lose is a big one for me. And stepping into my power and receiving the good things I am constantly blessed with instead of shying away from them is another.
I don’t know… Usually when I write it all just flows quite easily. I barely even reread what I’ve written let alone write drafts. This time it probably feels more muddled as I try to string my words together eloquently and fall short. But that’s where I’m at right now. So that’s what you get. Because it’s real. And I wouldn’t give you anything less.
Yesterday during art therapy, we did a session on how I felt about my hurdles. And how fear used to be my motivator. It’s really bizarre to have this less and less as a driving force. I was asked what is my motivator now. And I didn’t have a response as of yet. It’s something that will take some contemplation over the days. But it’s an interesting thing to ponder… What it is that drives you… That makes you want to try… That gives you passion and makes you want to wake up and make an effort each morning… Maybe it’s something. Maybe it’s nothing. Sometimes the answers really are in the nothing. I guess that’s where I’m at now. Surviving in the nothing. Until it turns into a very powerful something. The subtle changes that permeate slowly underneath the surface are sometimes the biggest ones. Because you have to work so much harder at them. But that just means there’s more flowers to bloom.