Day 111: A 40 Days Reflection (TW for slight mention of religious ideas - though I am not religious)
Forty days ago was the first day after my gynecologic appointment. Because of my upbringing as an Irish Catholic, the concept of 40 days is potent to me. I no longer accept any religion, but I still feel deeply moved by the ideas I learned growing up Catholic.
Forty days ago I was trembling and triumphant; I was weeping and wonderstruck. When I began this healing journey (now 111 days ago) I believed, "there is a steel case inside where my big pains are stored." Prior to the exam 40 days ago, the last time I experienced a gynecologic exam, they had to pin me down to the table. (I had bled out and it was a life or death situation. They didn't do anything wrong, but I was completely out of my mind with fear and was combative.)
My current healing journey began because I reached the point that I had to face my fear of doctors, because of changing circumstances in my life. I found myself suddenly in a place where I felt safe and content for the first time. Thus, as I wrote in my first posting:
as soon as I set down the sword and the shield that protected me through it all, I discovered the pain, I saw the wounds and the blood. Not just my own blood, but that of others with whom I have done battle over the years. It’s all still there. The carnage clings to the armor inside . . . Perhaps the reason I am going through this situation today, the reason I am able to consider going to an ObGyn, is because I am ready to live without the armor.
Forty days ago, I decided to name a new birthday. Feb. 19th I was born Intrepid. I was launched to become Intrepid. Forty days ago I stepped forward to become me, and to face all of the unknown that goes with becoming.
So, in perfect alignment from the universe, today Mary M wrote a posting in her blog that spoke of the risk of change, the impending loss, the inevitable pain.
It is no small endeavor to be born.
In response to her posting I said the following, which turned out to be a reflection on my first 40 days as Intrepid.
From her posting:
"I currently shift between moments of utter despair and the deepest still-water calm. I worry if I will suddenly find myself completely alone. I worry about giving up on healing. What if I am not that strong?"
To Mary M:
This is one of the greatest inhibitors to healing, the loss of connection, abandoning the known, facing the potential of moving forward alone through rough waters.
I have a colleague who often says, "See the world as abundant with the things you need." I used to doubt this idea because in my experience the world has been abundant with everything except what I need. However, about 18 months ago I decided to 'expect' the world to be abundant, to kind of demand it.
I decided I wanted to be in a place where what came toward me matched what came through me. I would allow the input to supply (at least in part) the output.
This idea started when I realized my philosophy of my work. For me, my work is an act of love. I realized I needed to find the place and the people where this philosophy fit. And, I set out to do so. Even if it didn't exist in the world, I would seek it. At first I thought it was like seeking the fountain of youth.
Nonetheless, what did I have to lose?
I worked with a leadership coach to develop a plan for a job hunt that would reflect my desire to find kindness and love as a core value in a workplace.
It was audacious.
And, incredibly, it happened almost immediately. In fact, I didn't end up seeking it at all, it knocked on my door. It sought me and drew me forth.
Here I am now, 9 months into my new work place. I left a community of people I loved. It introduced incredible stress on my family. It is often lonely without daily contact with friends. It is sometimes almost unbearably lonely.
But, I experience kindness and love in my work. It moves toward and through me.
This experience is the main culprit behind my current healing process. The still small voice started saying, "Hey, if you found abundance in your work life, maybe you can find it in your personal life. Maybe you can find out what love really is."
I'm terrified in a similar way to what you (Mary) describe so beautifully in this posting. I am well aware that with the exception of my children, I have no love in my life. I have not believed in its existence, let alone its abundance.
I am aware that a painful change will take me in this new direction of opening up to the abundance of love. I'm frightened of the losses that will ensue. But, I can't imagine moving in any other direction than toward that abundance.
Another blog posting today said what's in my heart about this issue: "I have been living in denial of a ravenous hunger for physical and emotional intimacy and the support of a caring individual in my life." -Allegro
I am ravenous for the abundance that is love.