After days or months or years or however long it has been or felt like, the moment I move through whatever tangles I've felt ensnared in is rarely a moment when I hear angels sing or feel the earth vibrate. In fact, it has never happened that way. It usually happens when I'm not really paying attention, or sometimes when I'm learning how to pay attention in an entirely new way. Every once in a while a shift happens because I simply decide it is time to move on, but most of the time anxieties dissolve quietly, sneaking away while I do laundry, wash dishes, and sleep.
Someone said to me last week, "Everything is working as it is supposed to, you just don't like it," and I laughed out loud. So true! Although at that exact moment part of me was still a wee bit skeptical about the "Everything is working fine" part, but here I am just a few days later and I realize she was absolutely right. Later in the conversation I told this certain someone, "You should write books," trying to give her a laugh in return since her latest book, Hand Wash Cold, is about to be released. Karen Maezen Miller manages to express some of the most profound truths in the most simplest of ways, and she has taught me a great deal about letting things be rather than trying to judge or control. My mantra as of late has been "I vow to take what I am given," and ever since I first read those words on her blog I've imagined them dangling on a charm bracelet that never leaves my wrist, reminding me of how simple it can all really be, this thing called my life.
Considering the way I feel now, I have to say that last week's emotional downpour was totally, utterly, completely worth it. The act of letting myself cry like I hadn't cried in years (yes, years) washed so much muck out of me, and served as yet another reminder of how powerful it is when I dare to face my worst fears and demons head on. Every time I have been willing to do this I have been rewarded with a softening in my heart and a quieting in my mind, serving as the greatest catalyst for whatever changes within myself I have been longing for. And the act of letting it be known that I was in a dark place and in need of support also opened up an entirely new window, showing me that it is OK to ask others to take the wheel for a while. It isn't always easy for me to do - to reach out and ask for help - but I am learning that it is a beautiful, necessary element of any path towards healing.
Is the situation that has been the source of my woes suddenly gone? Have the problems been immediately solved? The answer is no, but what has shifted is that I have finally let myself completely sink into a place of acceptance about it all. And while from a certain perspective it looks like this shift happened overnight, it was actually the result of a thousand tiny steps (and slips and stumbles) taken over a long period of time with the intention of finding a peaceful place within myself regarding this situation. Every great leap I've taken hasn't happened because I've run wildly towards a cliff; every great leap has occurred because I've laid the groundwork and taken all the steps necessary to reach the most appropriate cliff...the cliff that isn't simply a cliff, but a jumping off point, a place from which I can soar.
So this week I am doing what most needs to be done: I am working. I am creating new pieces of artwork, experimenting with ideas and making a monumental mess in my studio. I am finishing my days covered in paint and falling into bed a little more tired than usual. And I am being vigilant about where I let my mind wander. Now that I've gotten myself out of this particular forest I'm going to make sure I don't find my way back there simply because I wasn't paying attention. Almost every thought these days is being steered towards my work, towards ideas about what to create and how to create it....towards color and texture and memories of Jordan.