In my eyes, for me right now, there are three crucial things that have shifted or hold significance for me to grasp onto at this time in my life. These three are: longevity; trust; and hope. Here’s the first in the blog posts about the three.
For the first time in since, well, I can ever remember, I have begun to hold the ability to hold longevity in my life.
I think it’s partly perhaps just what happens in your twenties – you begin to shift from living in the moment, hand-to-mouth style survival, and eyes beneath blinkers of simply living life. Instead I feel I am shifting from that, to an ability to see into the future (not literally, I ain’t no superman) – but to see enough to know that to take time out now, or to let yourself rest now, will pay off in the future. Or to know that wherever you are right in this moment, be it as far away as possible from where you ever thought you would be, or would ever want to be, to know that this too shall pass. That this isn’t forever. I have always known those phrases but never really attuned to them or absorbed their words. I think it has to happen naturally, y’know?
I find that often, in this path of growth, that so many people or so many books can tell you something but you cannot learn it or know it until you align with it yourself and have the a-ha moment of realisation. And I really think this has a natural path of course to reach this point – something that cannot be changed or ruled. It happens as you grow, and it happens at the right time.
I have so many things that take me ages to properly realise. Like properly, know. Yet I have read them a million times or have heard them a million times.
Back to the longevity.
That there is the Chinese symbol for Longevity, and I just really liked it. It holds a nice peaceful and trusting vibe that lifts from the page. A future tattoo perhaps?
I have always fought on through in life. Always had a battle that I was fighting, be it something hideous happening in the family, or my own inner struggle, be it anorexia or chronic fatigue or depression. There has always been something, since my childhood days, and so this fight and living for survival, and living for living, has always been my norm – my comfort zone. Yet somehow now, it is beginning to shift. I realise I have always filled my days and life with amazing things on the surface – what I was doing, working with, travelling to, spending time with, generally doing – it has always been amazing. When I look at the places I have been, the people I have met, the places I have worked, the countries I have explored, I am left baffled to think I am 25, and amongst that have also been holding such inner (and outer, family) struggle. As many people said to me, ‘no wonder you are tired…no wonder you had chronic fatigue…no wonder you need to take a bit of a break for you…no wonder you need to take a bit of a time out.’
I am slowly…SLOWLY…beginning to realise this and hear this. For the first time in my life, there is a niggle of belief that if I give myself the time to heal, to be, to nurture, to settle, to soften, to relax, to not push, to not stress, to not try to do a million things alongside the struggle, to get a routine, to hold gardening work (but not too much for it to be counteractive), to focus energy on friends that are the important and healthy ones, to rest, to TRUST… then it will not be forever. This ‘down time’ will not be ever-lasting.
For the first time I see that I will not be this way forever, if I allow myself to be where I am. Accepting is a hard one, but as my therapist said last night – try to let yourself allow for where you are, rather than try to accept accept accept because that is just so damn hard. In some ways I am glad that I find that hard, because it displays the fight and determination I have which powers you through I guess, but it is also important to let this take a side seat at times to allow yourself to honour your experience. This, as I am just recently seeing is more important than words. So often, our feelings arise just to be heard, and listened to, and I so often try to acknowledge them slightly and then move on because I just so want to feel okay for that hour or that moment. But, as they say: the longer you resist, the longer it persists. Tis true. Annoyingly so. Wouldn’t it just be so flippin’ nice if the longer we persisted, the further away whatever we are persisting, travels off to? Damn the physics of emotions.
Allow yourself to be in the moment, however uncomfortable and however short-lived this ‘being’ might be, every bit counts. You have to start somewhere. And when things are just so scary to begin doing that, the shortest of snippets are something and I am trying to trust and hold longevity for that process too – that the ‘healing process’ of this journey, despite how terrifying and overwhelming it feels right now, will actually be okay and will not actually be this terrifying always.
No matter how scary, how terrifying, how footloose you feel, this will pass. It is not you forever. And, what I am beginning to realise is that you cannot reach the healing or the ‘other side’ until you step into the vastness of the unknown. The impossible. The life-long fears. The panic. The angsts. The isolation. The overwhelm. The damn-right unimaginable… All these need to be touched.
Right now I feel like I am swimming in the ocean of all of the above, and it is terrifying. At times I take a step back and touch the sand from which I stepped from, and at others I catch a glimpse of the vast horizon and island of peace in the distance, and no matter how short or long lived either of these moments are, I see that I have come so far through this ocean already, despite how lost I feel at times. And I have swum so far in courage and hope and determination, there are just some currents I can’t swim alone.
So that is where longevity, hope and trust come in. In the midst of this pain, this unknown and this terror of what is happening, by holding the hands of those lucky three, I see that it makes it easier to allow yourself to be with whatever you are feeling.
Allow, acknowledge and comfort.