This is the debut post since my one-year hiatus and I am beginning with the single moment that ultimately led to my final decision to take a sabbatical. It’s not possible for me to share this Journey in one post, so this will be the first in a series. Writing is not only therapeutic. It can also be curative. If you’re experiencing any major transitions or shifts, I invite you to write it out with me. There is plenty of opportunity to heal yourself.
When complicated experiences are carefully put into words, the manner in which they are represented in the brain changes. They move from the areas associated with stressful emotion demanding constant physical readiness to the areas associated with detailed comprehension and understanding. This makes articulate people less stressed and more informed about how to be successful now and in the future. ~Dr. Jordan Peterson
A year ago, Life, as we call it, smacked me down so hard and knocked the breath out of me so fierce that I did know whether to first gasp for air or stand up.
When I travel back on my life’s timeline, I can trace the beginning to this end. At the time, I vaguely identified the origin; but it wasn’t until my Recovery Season that I began to refocus the lens and see the clearer picture.
I am a seasons-type girl. Not just the everything-happens-in-its-due-season kind either. I plan and guard my life around the Earth’s seasons. She is the best way for me to tell time. She is the best guide to teach me reasonable expectations and how to intentionally act. So, the first action I took after I decided to breathe was to consider the Season.
The time of year when I grow serious, steady, and determined. Since I am an educator, it is also a time when my life is routine and orderly and I am in the throes of lesson plans and teaching. I am my sharp, professional self. Unplanned major transitions and sudden changes are not welcome. A creature of habit, fall represents similar events each year and I had grown accustomed.
Yet we all know…Life can throw one hell of a curveball!
I do not share these sentiments only in abstract form. I have a mild green thumb. I work the ground with my own hands and I know that harvest time is autumn’s main event. It’s a rather controlled season. You do not have to wait for its arrival to be informed of what it will yield. Well before its time, a gardener is aware of the harvest, its size, and the plan to cultivate the crop. In lots of ways, fall is my most ordinary, usual season of the year. It’s a time where I feel in control, secure, safe, and on top of it. It seems as if there are no surprises.
Our decisions and actions are mere transactions. We Humans govern and control our lives with our own choices; though it seems the role of the Universe to keep the balance. Sure, we weigh our options. We consider our costs. However, we are not the Beings who ensure that our weight evens out in the world at-large. So, what’s the risk assigned to choices and responsibilities?
A time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Another truth about us Humans is that many enjoy fruit; but few participate in the labor and that can put us on guard. We want to protect both our labor (effort and time) and our fruit. The risk in working, growing, and possessing is that any one (or anything) at any time can take your stuff or that those who support you can decide to withdraw for whatever reason. Most times, it is not the actual loss of fruit that devastates us; for we understand that things are not meant to last forever—there’s hope in our ability to recover that loss.
What sends the knife through your gut and the chill up your spine is the loss of labor.
One of our greatest pains is to understand that our effort and time has been wasted. In this context, wasted does not mean that no one was able to benefit; instead it means that the intended reason the effort and time was spent or who it was spent for is no longer the case.
A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself. ~May Sarton
That’s the burn.
That thick liquid which rises from your stomach. It warms and moves through your body as your mind attempts to process what is happening. That hot, thick liquid changes your alchemy. It interrupts your equilibrium until it causes such an eruption in your loins that you physically feel ill. In this moment, your mouth waters, your body heats, and you have to make a quick decision—to swallow or to vomit. Usually, we vomit. The pain hits so hard that our bodies register it as foreign and our bellies belt out the alien. Empty.
You feel emptiness.
Seldom are we taught balance. We only know that being full feels good and so consequently we believe that feeling empty does not. Not many teach the blessing and burden of both states. Emptiness is bittersweet. Bitter because you freed an alien; you’re fatigued, confused, and void of sustenance. Sweet because—well, who wants to be plagued with pain? And I had just unleashed the first bought.
We need sustenance likewise we need release.
Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ~Ancient Proverb
The moment your body rejects what is foreign (and you do not get in its way), it begins to recover and in turn you begin to feel better. You may feel bruised or scarred physically. You may feel taxed and torn emotionally. You may even feel mentally fuzzy. But, you also feel better. It takes Time for all the parts of you to align with your better state, but this, my friend, is the Journey.
When human nature rebels against Mother Nature, humanity becomes a cancer on the Earth. The nature of all things are nested within nature as a whole. When you reject what life gives you, you place yourself in opposition to nature–including your own nature–and so harm yourself. ~Marcus Aurelius
Alignment until dis-alignment until re-alignment.
A circular direction that repeats and recycles giving each phase its own season, reason, and village.
The harvest-ready season when at any given moment, you may rise to learn that your fruit is gone and your labor is wasted.
Sometimes it’s an act of Nature.
Sometimes it’s an act of Coincidence.
Sometimes it’s an act of Offense.
Sometimes it’s an act of Betrayal.
Sometimes it’s an act of Justice.
In either reality, your effort has been wasted. You feel the burn and it hurts.
You’re on the floor. No, I was on the floor.
And you’ve decided to vomit. Me. It was me who vomited.
I ejected the beast from my body. It could no longer make me sick from the inside.
But, then I had to face that same beast. I had to purpose it. Because pain can ruin you or transform you. And its agents will give you the fight of your life.
It’s either Me or Pain. And I choose ME.
And you know if I have to choose… I choose me. I gotta go with me. ~ Tamia (the singer)
~Love, Light, and Happiness,