Next Lesson

Life has been crazy in the last few months.  Work was really busy, and little things would come up in the evenings and weekends.  It was all good, and I’ve enjoyed where I’ve been and what I’ve been learning, but I’ve found myself in survival mode.  I haven’t been taking much time to recharge and tend to my introverted side – or process through what has been coming up in my head.  So, I’m sitting on a bench next to the beach in Monterey – technically Seaside – about a block and a half from my hotel thinking, “What better place could there be to think about one of the bigger thoughts running through my head?  The fresh air, the awesome view, the perfect weather, the…water.”  Yes, the water.  As I look back over the last few months, I realize that in what felt like survival mode, I never pulled myself out of the water – and I haven’t drown.  I can’t say that I learned to float – relaxing is still a concept outside the boundaries of my conscious mind – but I haven’t drown, and I let myself stay in the water.  That is a huge win for me.  Of course, as I sit and think about that victory, I simultaneously think about the next lesson.  Are you ready to jump in?  If you read In Over My Head, you know how I feel about ‘jumping in’.  I have some ideas of what ‘jumping in’ might look like – where that might come into play in my life in the near future.  But as I look out at the water, I know that figuring out how, when, where, or why I’ll be jumping in is not what’s important right now.  I’m being asked, first, to remember, and then to prepare – which mostly means trust.

I can look back in my life and see times that I ‘jumped in’ – some small, some not so small.  But they all seemed ‘safe’ because I trusted that I was not jumping in alone.  I’m being asked to remember – to recognize – those times and allow that trust to permeate more of my life.  Those times of jumping in have come fairly spread out throughout my life.  The in between time has been filled with fear and anxiety.  My goal is more trust and less anxiety.  As I look back over the last year, I see how much progress I’ve made toward that goal.  From leaving my job, to going back to the same job, to having very little anxiety regarding my living situation when the people I rent from put the house up for sale.  I have recognized the absence of anxiety, who has had me in a stranglehold most of my life – a stranglehold that I’ve come to accept, expect, and even rely upon as stability and known.  Even something that seems so simple as my three and a half hour drive here is a step toward my goal.  Usually, a drive like that would cause me a huge amount of anxiety.  I don’t really like to drive, I have a fear of getting lost, and my back hurts when I drive longer than about 45 minutes (on a good day).  But I printed the directions, loaded up my car, and started driving yesterday.  Normally, with all the anxiety, I’d be trashed by the time I got to where I was going.  This drive, however, was different.  I had a couple of quick bouts with anxiety, but when I got to my room, I got settled and then took a nice walk.  I was totally relaxed and ready to go exploring.  If you don’t know me well, it’s very hard to explain what a big deal that was.  I finally feel like I might be winning the battle.  I think that’s a big part of why I needed to take this trip – to recognize how far I’ve come and trust that I have everything I need to continue to fight – and to win – this battle.  So I will remember in order to prepare for what may be coming…

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