What are we really running away from? Or are we running to.....
Updated: Sep 27, 2022
It's been a hot minute (almost a year) since I last posted in my blog. Where has time gone? Life has a way of causing amnesia at times, doesn't it? I don't know if it has anything to do with aging, but I find that I have to go through my Facebook feed or photos on my phone in an attempt to remember what and when things happen. Have we gotten lazy? So dependent on our technology to remember FOR us?
I was just given the analogy of how the invent of GPS has made it so that we can find our way to pretty much anywhere but at the same time caused us to forget how we got there. Is it a gift that we no longer have to store such information in our memory banks? Or is it a problem that we have let that brain muscle atrophy?
I now remember what's been going on over the last year. The urge to move, to start over had been front and center in my life (mainly at the urging of my husband) and we had settled on the area near Helen, Georgia. You know when you find a place that you feel at home in and think about all the time? Yeah, that's Helen for me. Honestly, there is really nothing much to it - maybe that's the appeal. We traveled multiple times to look at properties, met with a wonderful real estate agent and potential custom home builders. It had become compulsive to find that "perfect" place, where we could build our forever home that would allow us to "age" in, with privacy and the potential to grow our own food and have access to a creek to fish. Yep, the Prepper Compound hunt was on!
You know how it is when you are planning for the future, you tend to detach yourself from your current reality. It's hard to live in two places at once. You have to start to imagine yourself in new surroundings, shopping at new stores, meeting new people. You have to let go of your past to make room for your future.
HIT A BRICK WALL
But what if you keep running into roadblocks? Do you keep pushing forward? Or do you stop, sit back and reevaluate? Well, it became apparent that attempting to build a home in the mountains during the greatest inflation of wood and real estate prices was NOT good timing. The initial plan going into this was to downsize our space and our expenses going into retirement. Yeah, that's not going happen!
So, after much disappointment, we had to let that fantasy go.
We felt deflated after investing so much time and energy into this search for a new life. There was a period of grieving and acceptance and most importantly introspection. Why was it so appealing to give up what has been our home for 11 years? Why would we want to leave the best friends we've ever had? Why would we be willing to leave behind our adult children?
After much reflection, it became readily apparent that we were wanting to escape. Escape the noise and congestion. Run away from the day-to-day grind. Detach from the pressure of the "Jones vs Jones" in our community. To finally be alone, as a couple. We were tired. We were willing to grieve the loss of our current life to move into the unknown just for the perceived ability to breathe.
Can you relate?
IT'S ALL ABOUT PERCEPTIONS
Here's the crux...our environment isn't always the issue. Our perception of our environment is what creates our reality. We all know this intellectually. What I discovered throughout this process wasn't really earth-shattering, but profound nonetheless. It became clear that, we as humans, have this tendency to think that the grass MUST be greener over "there"; it's easier to just pack up and move than clean your own house. "If I could just start over, I could create the life and environment that I feel is lacking in my current reality." But can you? Not really. Why? Because we can't leave ourselves behind.
TOSSING IT ALL AWAY
We've become a "throw away" society - if it's broken or no longer in perfect condition, just throw it out and get a new one. Some of that has to do with the fact that sometimes it IS cheaper to buy something new than to attempt to repair. Items like toasters or TVs are good examples. But what about those items that have sentimental value? We will spend plenty of money to repair them. Why? Because of the emotional connection, of course. They may be one of a kind or irreplaceable. You may be asking "What does this have to do with leaving ourselves behind or running away from something?" It has EVERYTHING to do with it!
I was feeling as though it would be easier to just "up and walk away" and start over fresh in a new house and somehow that would FREE me from whatever I was feeling was imprisoning me. Throw it ALL away! I felt like a caged animal that was hearing the door creak open and a sliver of light was shining in - "Is THIS what it would feel like to finally be free?" I could taste it - ohhhh, how I could taste it. I salivated at the thought of all that change. Change is GOOD, change is needed. But when it was all ripped out of my grasp I was completely deflated. What the hell am I supposed to do now?
GRIEF EQUALS ILLNESS
In my despondence, I became sick. Really sick. Ended up in the hospital for 6 days, in isolation. Only my phone and the TV to keep me company. Hours and hours of nothing but my own thoughts to occupy my time. Then the stillness came. I felt ONE with the Universe and I felt acceptance with the idea that I could die - talk about the Ultimate "change"! My deceased Father was at my bedside, as he always was in life and Jesus stood right behind him. I may have been alone, but I wasn't. I began to feel at peace; peace with the potential of death, peace with the idea of living, peace with every second that passed in isolation. I came to realize that I was wanting to run away from myself! From having to clean my own house, so to speak. From setting healthy boundaries with the people in my life. The work of being human. It took almost losing my life to truly appreciate living it.
There were still months after my discharge from the hospital where I was convinced that I was still going to die. Continual health problems plagued me caused by the "illness" that required follow up with specialists and every day I had to balance between this world and the allure of the other side. "This bag of meat and bones is too damn much to deal with! Please just let me come home!" was my daily refrain. I wanted OUT! I'm willing to admit that when I had my Heart CT, I was actually hoping for bad news. "Oh well, I guess I can just lay here and wait to die." No, this was not depression. No need to call 911. I, like so many others, are tired of this physical life and know there is more, so much more! Death, for us, is a gift, for we have a deep connection to our soul and our spiritual family and have a very full life on the other side.
Alas, my heart CT was PERFECT! Literally not a thing wrong. No calcium, no plaque, no signs of the pericardial effusion that was causing all of my symptoms. I have the heart of a young person. WHAT? FUCK! Now I have no excuse.
So, I began the trek through the forest of my own perceptions about myself, my family and my life. I had to ask the tough questions: What is it about my life that I want to run away from? Who is in my life that I want to run away from instead of deal with head on? Where are there dysfunctional or nonexistent boundaries? Do I wish to have an adversarial relationship with my physical body?
Oh, there was plenty that came up. The over-arching theme was my reluctance to confront things and/or people who I had either not created boundaries with or who were consistently bypassing them. This included myself, with myself. I had to really look at my relationship with my home and stuff in it as well. I LOVE things - I am sentimental and collect items to remind me of places I've been. I am surrounded with STUFF to the point that it has taken over my surroundings. I have admitted to myself that these things are just distractions. Things to fill voids. Shopaholics can relate. Your life doesn't seem so empty when you have tchotchkes everywhere.
TIME TO CLEAN MY OWN HOUSE
Then the work began. Cleaning out of closets, clearing nooks and crannies of excess books and DVD's. Sorting, organizing, gutting. Seeing an empty space was painful. It triggered the feeling of lack inside of me. I obviously wasn't lacking physical things, so.......there it is! I must be perceiving a lack of something inside of me. I know you are saying to yourself "Duh, I could have told you that", but it's the peeling of the onion that gets us to the core of our own issues. Those of us who have raised children know all too well that we can warn them but they have to learn on their own for it to really settle in their soul.
GROUND CREW REPORTING FOR DUTY
What's the point of all this? Well, as a way-shower, it's my duty to report in and share the view along the path forward. To help guide and point out any potential pitfalls and provide shortcuts if desired. I witness so many people seeking to find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Making emotional decisions without forethought. Feeling an overwhelming dissatisfaction in their lives with no hope for improvement. Moving constantly, uprooting their lives and being disappointed when life doesn't get better. Life is nothing more than our own unique perception - our life can change when we change how we look at it. When we stop running from ourselves and our dysfunction. From the highest perspective, everything is an illusion. Nothing is real. Time does not exist. Yet, from our human perspective, we are consumed with the day-to-day minutia of physical life - eat, work, shit, sleep; rinse and repeat.
I'm still a work in progress. I take time every day to be in stillness, where God resides, to receive guidance and insight. I find ways to be of service to those around me. I seek to learn or perceive something new as often as I can. Some days still suck and I feel moody and down, just like everyone else, but each new day offers the chance to feel and be different.
There's a great saying "Before enlightenment; pay bills and do laundry. After enlightenment; pay bills, do laundry." We can chase the elusive idea of "spiritual enlightenment" thinking that it will cure all that ills us, but all that really changes is how we see and show up in the world. We will still have to pay the bills and do the laundry.
Speaking of laundry.... duty calls.