I sat here this evening with my feet plunged into my roasting pan. Yes, you read that correctly. My roasting pan. I haven’t penned nary an inspirational thought in months and this is what I start with. Even I am interested to find out what narrative will follow. But let me explain the roasting pan. There’s a hole in my spa bucket Liza and my heels resembled the remnants of a beached trout that had dried in the hot sun for a week. I have a live event tomorrow where I simply cannot tolerate the idea of donning my typical high black boots, instead opting for my simple pink summer sandals. I decided this due to the indescribable burning toes that have been forced into carrying the whole extra human I grew this last two years. They’ve just had enough and the protest is loud in the wrong footwear. But, back to the roasting pan. I promise I will not use it to cook in again. There’s been no need anyway this past while. And for those that might be interested in knowing it holds two size 12 feet side by side quite comfortably. Hot water. I cup of mouthwash. I cup of vinegar and one roasting pan. Be sure to follow me for more recipes folks.
I further painted my toe nails pink. It’s a disaster of proportions I cannot describe. I lost my distance glasses when they tangled in the mask some weeks back. In my frustration I yanked them free and placed them on a counter in some store somewhere in the city. I don’t know which store because my brain went off with my toes in an act of mutiny. Therefore the painted nails were done basically by feel alone. If you are sitting here wondering why distance glasses to paint my nails then you clearly did not gain another human these past years and can bend over like normal people. I did consider propping the little paint brush onto the end of my selfie stick at one point. Should I actually attempt this I might find myself the recipient of 100 thousand likes on Tik Tok if I can balance my camera between my teeth to record it. Stay tuned.
Someone (likely my frustrated nail person) will be reading this right now and quietly muttering expletives at me for not simply making an appointment. I did set up an appointment and then had to cancel it because my travel plans changed yet again. Those are my favorite words this past year. Yet again. “Oh we’re cancelling it yet again are we?” “Oh we can’t be within three feet of other humans yet again eh?”
My “yet again” repertoire did grow somewhat to include the phrase “Oh we’re doing this now are we?” As the rules loosened, the goalie was pulled setting us up for a clear win only to shoot the puck forward as they tossed the entire defense line across the ice to slow the movement we were making.
It’s been incredibly difficult to get out of the stuck lately. I know this to be true because nearly every single human I have spoken with has asked me the exact same question. “Why do I feel so stuck?” “How do I get unstuck?” I believe I may have found some wisdom to share but I am almost hesitant to utter a word for fear of the defense line taking us right off our skates again. But what is risk if not for risking it right? Standing on the ice on thin blades comes with its possibility of landing flat on our ass. I feel pretty good about landing on mine given that I grew a spare to take the first slam. Silver linings folks. Look for em.
And here comes the wisdom of a moderately visually impaired sage with great toes of fire and a brain full of fog. I begin with one simple question.
Are you actually stuck?
I asked myself this recently. And the answer was no after about ten minutes of trying to convince myself otherwise. That ego brain that always thinks it has the real answers. Set that down for a bit and let the soul speak instead. To help you along with this exercise I will share what mine chose to show me. You may recognize yourself in this so pay attention.
I am not stuck at all. I am simply resting while I pull myself from the grip of the glue I believed I needed. The discomfort that I am experiencing is merely a period of grieving as I come to understand that to peel from old processes will cause pain. As ridiculous as it may sound on the surface, one of my old processes included running to a favorite store on days where I could claim points and feel like I won something. As one of those humans that simply has not had the life path that includes winning anything on a giveaway, the points for me represented a lucky break, a nod from the universe that I too had value. Sure, I spent way more than was necessary, purchased items that I really didn’t need but look at me universe. I won 40.00 in points. My bank balance dropped by 120.00 but I’d walk out waving my receipt at my spouse like I just won the Olympic Gold. I have successfully disengaged from that sticky hold although I will admit to the sadness that still follows the initial rush of adrenaline when I get my email urging me to come play the game. I know it’s a strange example of grief but for someone who never got a ribbon in school it’s a wee wound that got salved in being rewarded for buying more makeup than she needed. The wound is healing much more nicely now as I choose to drive past the shop and out along a quiet back road that rewards me with peace. The dividends of that far exceed the worth of what I believed made me happier.
Like thousands of others on this same journey this past two years, I found myself lamenting everything that this took from me. The comfortable faces, the typical places. The ever changing and new experiences that moving from one city to the next offered me. The changes of the seasons from one province to the next. The incredible stories I would hear, the people that would teach me about strength, about forgiveness and about joy. The busyness that kept me in your lives while keeping me from getting close to my own. As the days moved into the months, moved into the year I found myself grieving what I felt I needed to be my best version of me. As the world around me lost faith in the universe I found myself at a loss of words to try to bring them back again. This was a difficult unsticking as it hit me one morning that the only words to bring them back were the words that I wanted to say. Not the words that the world needed me to say. It’s always been so much easier speaking to your truths because in yours I find the real pains and the real triumphs. I truly feel you and applaud you. Yet if I listen to my own narrative my ears measure it as whining and I’ve never been comfortable in my own skin as anything less than tough as nails. This past two years has been an eye opener for me to delve into those discomforts that I have always pushed aside as “life lessons” and to allow them to bubble to the surface. It’s been both cathartic and rather shocking to find the extremes of which my emotions shift when I am forced to sit still with them. As the world has moved to reopening and I find myself sliding back into the arms of the crowds I am changed. Where I once stood in front of someone with tears running down their cheeks and found more significance in their pain, I now can commiserate more effectively by allowing myself to recognize their pain instead of trying to make theirs unique while trivializing my own. I feel that I now know you better by knowing me first. Our experiences may be different. What brought our grief will be as personal as your own DNA. But grief is grief when it comes right down to it. Although I cannot possibly comprehend the grief of a child loss I can commiserate in the heavy emptiness that is mirrored in the loss of others that I once stuck to as validation that I existed myself. So if you find me standing before you offering you a tissue and taking one for my own tears don’t be surprised. It’s become an all too common new theme for me and I am no longer feeling it necessary to hide that. And for me that’s big. It’s huge. So now I am the weepy, moderately vision impaired, brain fogged sage standing before you. And that’s OK. Because I unstuck myself from the bravado and instead stuck to myself and learned to accept that I too have struggled . And it’s OK to not be super human and carry everyone else that can’t get there. To be able to finally say after 57 years that I am too tired to pick you up today, but we can sit here on the ground together until we find the strength to stand again. The dividends of this shared experience holds much more value than my pulling out the cape to feign courage and yanking you back to your feet without telling you that I completely get why you hit the ground in the first place.
We are not stuck at all. Like flies to paper we can choose to just lay down our wings and let what we feel holds us back consume us. Or, we can flail our wings like hell and break free and fly as far away from what threatened to hold us from our journey.
Go on now. Stick to yourself for a spell. You will find an incredibly powerful and beautiful soul in there. Perhaps a little more bruised than you expected. Maybe with a few broken parts that you missed along the way. Stick to yourself to find the healing instead of sticking to what you believe was healing you. You can do a much better job. Trust me.
In love and light