spiral

oh jules,

“write what you know”

haha. seemingly trite advice. and yet. such wisdom.

i caught a cold yesterday. no big deal. except that i am on the edge already. teetering.

my reserves are really low. and yesterday i couldn’t speak without almost bursting into tears. it is like the veneer has grown thin. and then illness has just worn through the final protective layer.

and, i don’t think it is a bad thing. because i have got to let it out. these tears. feelings.

my friend pointed out yesterday that this is a BIG CHANGE.

and it feels kind of anticlimactic. like i am just slipping away for a while. but, in reality, there is something about this shift that feels seismic. but like an earthquake, most of the change is taking place beneath the surface. i feel these small warnings  – this shaking that is saying “look out” (what do you call an ‘after-shock’ if when it happens before the earthquake? a premonition?).

and i don’t feel prepared. (i mean, i am not prepared… the half-packed boxes are a sign of this). but i mean internally. i wish that i was going into this summer feeling strong. feeling confident. feeling in control.

instead, i feel like i have experienced a setback, like i have returned to an older version of myself. less-enlightened. less-brave. less-in-shape. it is like there was a glitch in the system and my computer reverted back to Windows 97 (which is even scarier to think about since i am used to OSX). and i don’t think that my current operating system is up to speed or capable of handling this kind of change. it feels sluggish and unrefined. full of bugs and system errors.  i feel like i need to be my best self to go into this – and instead, i have the capacity to play minesweeper and solitaire – but not much else.

i feel like i am in a tailspin. a downward spiral.

my friend nancy taught me about the spiral. and i have used this image countless times. and last Sunday, Brad taught that the Anasazi people use spirals (of course).

the spiral, as i understand it, represents the cycle of our lives. we don’t live out a linear trajectory, from birth to death. we don’t grow in a straight line. we keep coming back to things. over and over.

how often have we said “i thought i dealt with this” or “i thought i was over that.”

as my wise clinical supervisor said: “shit orbits.”

 

in my first-year university life span development course i read a line that has stuck with me – though i lost the real version somewhere along the way. my vague recollection is:

throughout my life, i will be coming back again and again to the same lessons, albeit i hope, more wisely.

(dangit – as i wrote that, i realized that in my purging i JUST sent that textbook to the thrift store. gah! i so wish i had remembered to look up the quotation and author!)

anyway, i used to think that the spiral started wide and grew narrower. like a tornado moving to the ‘eye of the storm.’ that somehow, we moved closer and closer to some end “point” – got closer, perhaps, to “perfection.”

but over the years, i have revised my mental image and now see the spiral as growing wider. wider because we come back around to the same shit slightly less often. wider because as we grow, we (hopefully) become more expansive in our view. we become more compassionate. more accepting. we get more space between the lines. find some room to breathe and to open ourselves to others.

so, i should not be surprised that i have spiralled back around. that i am in this place again. there are lessons still to be learned. and clearly, i have not learned to love myself. not all of myself. (especially since the labels i applied yesterday included “gross” quite often).

so today, i sit in bed. having covered my early shift at work and cancelled my dentist appointment. and i probably should try to make myself pack. or read something uplifting. or work on Sunday’s writing. in reality, i am going to watch netflix and ruminate.

i have so much to do. so many people i want to see. i want to transition well into this next phase. and there is so little time left.

i just wish i wasn’t going into this transition while in such a valley. but seasons and cycles be what they are – and resistance doesn’t change that.

thanks for being with me on this journey!

 

with you,

ruthi

 

p.s. as i came into town last night, i drove past the courtland public school and (of course) their sign has the lyric that Wihla sang to me “do you like you?”

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