I forget sometimes that I’m *here.* I can’t automatically revert back to my go-go-go patterns, I am focused on now, this day, this moment. I suppose I am grateful that out of pain I am developing a slowing down, a loosening that I knew was beneficial, but didn’t think possible for someone like me.
The me that was before this mess. Before the boom. Before the explosion of my life as I knew it into burning bits and pieces. The me that was a nonstop, whip-cracking, energetic obsessor of detailed plans. The one who developed the ideas and then created the itineraries and pulled every layer into place so that it happened according to the blueprint. The social gathering-er, the connector, the matchmaker, the promoter, the get-it-all-done-er and still make time to slide in the revolving door of rescued pets, a religious adherence to fitness, capturing life in a series of journals, being there for the people I loved and the people around me – all the while, clenching an enduring candle of optimism.
That version of me was bright, popular, successful and content. She was also too busy – too focused on the outward, to make time for now. It was more important to plan for what’s next. The next goal that needed to be achieved was paramount. There was no checking-in with myself. There was no connection between mind and body. They were just neighbors in an adjoining room. No time for now, when I had to do, to be, to go. Conceptually I understood the value of slowing down, and I dreamt of being that type of woman with the glow. I’m sure you know what I mean. The women that have an effortless welcoming warmth that comes out of their pores. She walks slow, looks well oxygenated and well-rested, she smiles — for seemingly no reason, as if she is totally content with who she is. I wanted to have that, be in their skin, know what it feels like to relax with myself, wherever I was.
Instead, my Jewish grandmother’s blood runs through my veins, who spoke as if she was dissatisfied with everything and anything at all. Only those who truly knew her, could interpret the apparent disdain as loving protection for those she treasured. She didn’t lead with emotion outwardly, but it was there, underneath the tough shell. I got her on a deep level. Like her, I seem to lead with skepticism first, instead of trust. I am incapable of allowing my heart to travel from its’ protected enclosure with carefree abandonment. I have consciously tried to smile for no reason at all from time to time – out there in the world, and it felt too raw.
The thing is, I know that I have been missing the key piece to allow truly being *here* now. It’s not an unfamiliar term, rather it’s an unpracticed one – self-compassion. When you’re a mega-doer, there’s so much focus on meeting deadlines, accomplishment and results. How could there be any room for self-compassion in a whirlwind way of living? Not to say that you can’t accomplish a hell of a lot and still accept yourself- I’m simply saying that wasn’t me. And while that version of me jumped into education on ‘how to achieve internal bliss’, the disconnect remained between me and the me I wanted to be.
When the boom came crashing down, and I attempted to end my life, the internal compass needed a reset. So here and now, I am mightily yet loosely creating a new me. If I’m going to be here, I need to be as attuned as I can to the woman I am, so I can help her glow.