3.19.2008

30 Days::Day 25

I'm at that point of my internal cycling where everything is coming through loud and clear. It is a bit overwhelming. I feel on the verge of tears constantly. I am frustrated, a bit out of sorts and so easily pierced to the heart. Words take on new meaning. Tone is of utmost importance and the energy of intention is so painfully clear to me. I can't seem to scrounge up enough time to be alone...to sit in silence or at least hushed whispers. It gets difficult for me to listen because the messages are so loud, so pristine and their soul purpose is to converse with my fears. Although I am beginning to wake up after what feels like a long slumber induced by survival instinct...my fears still want to put me to sleep. They want to keep me "safe". I am noticing what an excuse maker I am. And, as much as I am learning to be gentle with myself and to love myself where I am at...I can't help but want to give myself a good kick in the pants at the same time. I have been connecting with some really, truly, amazing women over the recent past...via this space and beyond. Here, I have read about their courage, and their words have spoken to me like they came off the pages of my journal. They have gently reminded me of what is important and of where to begin. I can't express how life giving all of that has felt to me. And, the encouragement that has come from those of you who read my words and see my efforts and know my story...it is beyond my limited expression, what that does for me.
I can feel myself closing off if I am not in constant consciousness about it. I can feel it come up sneakily, making up excuses. I have been trying to reach out to others...both in the physical sphere and across the Internet. Sometimes, that action is met with the warmth and smiles of sunshine...and sometimes, inevitably, it is ignored or dismissed. At the same time, coincidentally but altogether unrelated, I have been trying to make comments on some of the blogs that I most treasure, and for whatever reasons, have not been able to. I don't know how all of that comes together, but it does, and I start to imagine walls and I feel shut off. All of this, of course, has no hidden meaning behind it, it is no one's "doing"...people are busy, computers are wacky, connections come and they go. I just have let myself dream up some picture in my imagination of being rejected, and I start hurting. It has been strange for me, and it is also hard for me to admit because it taps into some new found (but certainly not new) insecurities that I have. It has revealed to me certain ways that I compensate in order to feel safe. I am reminded of how I have shut down in the past over not being accepted or welcomed or loved...something that I was never prepared for upon entering my adult life. And then, the lies start selling me their pitches about how I am not creative enough or interesting enough or brave enough to make people want to stick around for a visit, for a friendship, for an adventure. It comes full circle back to me and what I am doing or what I am not doing. How what I put "off" effects what I allow to come "in". The universe is crazy like that. So, I start asking myself the questions that need to be asked. Why am I not creating when I want to create? Why am I not writing the stories that I want to write? When I see something that I want to take a picture of, why not stop and take it? When I feel the urge to make a necklace, why not pick up the first bead? When I think I need to just START on a mixed media project, why not just begin? When I have an idea about anything, nothing, something...just write it down, say it out loud, get it OUT.
Last night, just as I was about to hit the ceiling from the burst of frustration that I get when I feel like I am shrinking...just as I was reeling over the internal push and pull of having so many dreams and so many responsibilities and so little resolution...just as I was allowing myself to feel the weight of "where to begin"...we decided to take a bike ride down the canal. It was early evening, the sky was explosive with brilliant orange which turned the water a dusty pink. As the sky changed color, so did the water...from pink to deep purple to pitch black. The clarity of the sky spoke sharply of a day's end. Crickets began to chirp and birds were singing lullabies. I could hear only a few things, the muffled sounds of music drifting through opened windows and thin walls, the faded distance of cars, the hum of my bike tires, and the sweet moans of my baby girl lulling herself to sleep over the bumps and bounce of the ride. Two ducks flew over my head and skied across the water, coming home. We passed backyards full of horses and green grass and wildflowers. It was bliss.
For Asher, the ride was so exhilarating. He always smiles on these rides. But last night, he couldn't quite let himself soak up the moment. He was so completely worried about the ride ending...us going home and getting ready for bed...he was fretting about it the entire time. At one point, I casually mentioned that perhaps we "shouldn't worry so much about where we are going, but instead, we should try and just enjoy the ride". It was not until after I muttered those words that I realized I was speaking to myself.
"Let's go far, far away....up, up on a cloud", Asher said.
I heard Josh trying to convince him that was something we would not be able to do. This answer was unsatisfactory for Asher. He really wanted the ride to last forever. His beautiful mind was creating escapes that he knew would take up quite a bit of time. I have a particular understanding with certain parts of his spirit. I don't appreciate being told that I can't do things. Upon hearing his frustration with his daddy's response, I thought I might chime in with an open ended "we can certainly try our best". That seemed to satisfy both of us.
So, I took it all to heart, the lessons available during that ride. It all has something to do with my habit of closing myself off, of staying safe, of not taking risks, of welcoming fear and making excuses and not beginning again. It all had something to do with knowing that we are all in this together...whether we know it or not, whether we connect or not, whether we know one an other's story. It has something to do with choosing the openness of "doing something unfamiliar" of doing "anything besides rushing off in the same old direction, up to the same old tricks" (Pema Chodron from When Things Fall Apart). It has something to do with paying attention to my thoughts and realizing that every small act counts towards something. It has something to do with practicing unlimited kindness with myself and with every single moment that I experience. It has everything to do with waking up and deciding to begin.

12 comments:

Jme said...

Jessie ~
I think that these feelings are normal. I often feel hurt or rejected or ignored or disposed of by people or things that probably have no clue their actions have caused me to feel this way. I have to take a step back, put my chin up in the air and remember that it's how I respond to these things that's important. I can choose to let them bother me and cause me insecurity in myself, or I can remind myself of the wonderful attributes that are me. It's not always easy, but it's necessary. I can also relate to not welcoming someone else telling me "no". I want the space to decide that on my own, not because someone has told me so. Granted, I've learned a lot of things the hard way because of this, but that's ok ~ it's who I am. I want you to know that you are not alone in these feelings ~ you just know how to communicate them with the world. That is a most special gift! And sometimes the "beginning" is the hardest part, but it's essential to begin in order to get where you want to be. And also remind yourself often that life is a journey ~ it's full of beginnings and endings and middle of the roads. It's so important to enjoy it EVERY step of the way.
Love you!

Courtney said...

This post really spoke to me and has inspired me to confront some of my own bottled up emotions and fears. I'm with you, sister. This is not easy. It's beautiful and amazing and awe-inspiring. And how I wish I could do nothing more than savor every second of this life, but IT IS NOT EASY.

velvet brick said...

Hi Jessamyn... You are very articulate in how you describe the myriad of emotions and thoughts rumbling through your mind. I can certainly relate...espcially how you speak of making a necklace, but not picking up the first bead..or thinking about creating, but not taking the first step. I was just telling a friend yesterday about that same conflict. Often, internal struggles are the result of growth..a 'growth spurt' of an adult kind, so to speak. I enjoy your blog and who you are. Thank you for sharing your beatiful insight of life with us.
Blessings to you.
VB

moonboots said...

Jessie,

What spoke to me the loudest was no matter how you are feeling you never let it touch the love for you children and your endless patience. I am inspired now, and have been before, of your ability to understand your sweet Asher and how you know just how to nourish his little soul. You are an amazing mother.

jouette said...

beautiful ::tears:: i understand, i know ... we are all connected and you connected deeply with me today. enjoy the ride, indeed~

daisies said...

you know .. i have felt that way a lot over the course of my life, feeling as though i have nothing worthwhile to contribute and feeling as though when i do reach out, i am ignored or dismissed. it is not a good feeling but then we find pockets of acceptance and i am starting to think that perhaps it was when i started accepting myself that i found others who accept me. it is in the courage and the leaps forward that we find ourselves surrounded by understanding.

thinking of you as i make my way through the busy that spring has become, sending you love, xo

Sara said...

Oh Jessamyn ~
I have read this post several times today, trying to digest it. So many times in your beautiful words in this space, they seem to co-exsist with the thoughts that I am feeling in my heart and mind. However, you are able to articulate your thoughts and share them. Thank you for your amazing words and inspiration and giving a voice to those people that can't put into words how they feel.
Much Love

Nonnie said...

loved every word. and the links in your post.....so much to take in and think about...and so many stories and wonderful writings.....laughter, tears.....i don't think that you comprehend what an amazing writer you are, jessamyn.....it touches deep in my soul...i think what daisies said is so true "when you start accepting yourself"...your talents, your uniqueness and feeding it...cultivating it....and using it where you are in your life....you will find peace. and i loved what kelly said also, about understanding asher....in a way that nourishes his soul....we don't all have the same talents....but you have some amazing ones, sass.....i hope you realize that and use them to begin those small acts....that give you a sense of involvement and worth and make you feel like you are contributing....what jamie said is so true....beginnings, endings and a lot of middle of the roads....common days come and go...but in each of those we have an opportunity to make it count...to feel happy....and to contribute...i loved bella's post...we undermine our contributions....when all it takes is a simple act.....
appreciate....yourself

jessamyn said...

thank each and all of you for your extremely generous and loving comments on this post. It was a dear one to my heart and I can't express my appreciation for your acceptance and space.

Debbie said...

Jess,
You are such a beautiful soul who feels SO deeply. The negative things out there can seep into our hearts so easily. I know I have battled that like everyone else out there. As others have said, those first steps are the hardest to take. You are so well loved and cherished. You and your amazing family have had such an impact on mine. You are often on my mind. The way that you "get" your children without really thinking inspires me. It is like you have tapped into the secret language that you take to the next level. Asher is lucky he has a kindred spirit in you. I so admire you for all that you do. You writing is beyond beautiful and heartfelt. I cherish you my sweet friend.

cassie said...

well, what can i say that hasn't already been said? the weird thing is that we ALL have those same feelings. sometimes i feel them most when i come across a person that i think..."she is so amazing...i wish i could be more like her". and then i find that she doesn't necessarily feel the same way. then the negative thoughts start happening with questioning myself and my part in this world...that i am nothing amazing, so why would she want to be friends with me. but then, i think the important thing for me, is to look around at the people in my life who DO love me...who MIGHT think that i am amazing in some way, and appreciate that. also, it is good to take a look at yourself and not only push to become something better, but congratualate yourself for what you have accomplished. i love you sassy.

bella said...

I hear you.
Closing myself off, shutting down, withdrawing is one of my first responses. It takes hard work and gentleness and compassion and sometimes tears to let myself open, to continue to remain open, to feel what I feel and make space for those thoughts I don't like without necessarily believing the story I'm telling myself. It's a practice.
Know that I see you and hear you and you are not alone in this.
Thank-you for sharing with honesty, for letting us in.