i never get sick. or feel bad. but, let me tell you, for the 2-3 days last week i’ve felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually empty. i have had no energy at all. no desire. no passion. no get-up-and-go attitude. nothing. all i’ve wanted to do is literally lay down. my head has ached. my stomach has ached. my chest + soul have ached. it’s freaking crazy. and i absolutely hate feeling this way.
to be honest, i feel guilty feeling like this. like i should be doing something else. like i am a lazy ass who should suck it up and get a move on… with anything. but, i’ve just been collapsing back onto the sofa or under the covers. which makes me feel temporarily good, with a large amount of guilt still weighing on my shoulders. of course, that doesn’t solve all of the reasons as to why i have been feeling this way.
i know that i’ve got some things that i need to deal with, things that i have discovered as i have done nothing else but feel bad.
i have to figure out who i am.
now, of course, as i have written about before, i know exactly who i am. i have learned so much about myself in the past 7 years. and i also know that i am in the midst of beginning a whole new part of my life. but, this is a whole different perspective, or level, or something.
let’s just look at the facts here:
// i have moved from my home country (yet again) to another country. where i am totally comfortable, and feel like i belong. yet, i don’t ever fully feel like belong. i have to find out who i am now, in this city. in this time in life. and right now, i’m flailing about, trying to keep my head above water in some ways. yet, i know it takes time. it takes quite some time, and i’ve only been here 2.5 months. so, i need to relax and deal with this uncomfortable time of transition. it will not last. and i will find my place.
// my love, who has been sick and diagnosed with anorexia in the past, is now moving into a whole new amazing phase of her recovery. and this affects me greatly. for years, in some ways, my focus was her. she needed me. i fought off the eating disorder monster with her. i cooked for her as she began to eat again. i lived at home alone for months and months while she was in the hospital. for a while our life revolved around her sickness in one way or another. and i absolutely hated all of her suffering and pain, but i was more than happy, honored, to be her wife and to be the one who walked with her through all of this.
// in asheville, as she recovered and began studying, my life, to some degree, reflected hers. of course, i explored many of my own passions also in asheville. but, i more than excitedly supported, cheered, and lived my life focused on her and the rest of my family (since i was back living near them again). it kind of gave me a sense of purpose.
// now that we are in uppsala, life is different. my love is in a whole new phase of recovery. she’s working full-time, living life, discovering who she is on a whole new level. and i am so very proud of her! i have been waiting for this moment for 8 years! but, with it, comes a change in my role. i lose some of my caregiver role, and we rediscover what it means to be partners. taking care of each other. this is new ground for me. totally. and i realize that i am not good at it.
i have chosen to live like this. i am a caregiver in my soul. i want to take care of others. desperately. i feel such joy in being able to live my life for my family – something i learned from watching my parents over the years, no doubt.
not that i was, or ever have been, a total pushover. i mean, i went back to graduate school when i was married to my ex. then i decided to divorce him (a decision totally for me!!). i moved to europe. quit teaching + churching. all decisions for me, for my soul. i have learned a bit about how to live for me, but right now, i understand that it is a whole new level of living for me that i am embarking on.
somehow, somewhere along the line, i think that i never believed that what i want was as important as others. so all of this may not be about taking care of others, but about avoiding myself. perhaps that is something that sits deep within me. i don’t know. right now, though, i feel that it is time to explore that. to let those thoughts go. and to truly, truly, discover what it is to live my life – fully. not just a little bit here + there. but to balance my love for others with my love for myself.
so, it’s time to stop sabotaging myself. it’s time to stop being afraid of success. it’s time for me to give myself permission to fly and explore and freaking believe in myself. it’s time for me to focus on healing my own wounds + scars. time for me to find me again. an even newer + stronger me.
remember the spring equinox/total eclipse/new moon last week? remember i talked about all of the changes and beginning a new life? well, i think that all of that crazy cosmic energy is what is going on behind all of this.
you know, whenever we have some major, inspiring, incredible, overwhelming moment, we are inevitably left with a sense of “what the hell just happened?’, “what now?” kind of feeling. we think that after that, magically everything is perfect and beautiful. spring has come, the weather will be amazing now – only here in uppsala, we have had snow, rain, cold, and gray every singel day since the spring equinox. a perfect symbol of how i feel inside. instead of feeling overjoyed and all fresh + new, i feel heavy, sick, sad, cold, confused.
what i always seem to forget is that, after the mountaintop experience, we always find ourselves in the valley once again. and it’s so hard. but, this is where the hard work takes place. we need the valleys. this is where we have to dig in, face ourselves, and go even deeper into our truth. if it is not a surface change that we are looking for (not like rearranging the furniture), then we have to go to the next level, a deeper level. we have to let go and say goodbye to the old times, and prepare ourselves for new ways of living. and that requires work.
of course, in letting go of some things in life that we have held on to, in those things that we need to “let die” in our life so that we can be born anew, ready for new life, we experience pain, sadness, guilt, and fear. and i’m pretty sure that this is where i am right now. but, after thinking about all of this and remembering the shift of the seasons, i know that i am on the right path. i also remember that these deep, life-altering changes do not happen overnight. no… the inspiration comes, and then the hard, tough work of seeing the changes through arrives. how long that lasts, i have no idea. but, i trust myself. i have seen this pattern, this cycle in my life before.
so, i know, that on the other side of this tough, deep work lies an amazing new understanding. a chance to be transformed and to move closer to being a better, truer, more whole me.
have you felt any changes since the arrival of spring/autumn? have you recognized any things that you need to dig deep into right now? if you have, know that you are no alone. we may not be on the same journey, but we are journeying together, fighting for the same freedom. sending you lots of strength + patience + light.
Hello lovely Liz. You have such a beautiful heart and courageous spirit.
I climbed mountains for years. Getting to the top was actually relatively easy compared to coming down. Going up, you’re always looking up, for the next handhold, next piton, next step, up.
It’s important to take time at the summit once you reach it. To ooh and aahhh and gasp out loud as you take in all the wonder and beauty, and the fact you made it.
and then, t’s time to come down.
Here’s the challenge with the descent — you’re tired, the high of the high is over, you’re looking forward to that ice cold beer at the bottom. 🙂
But you can’t take your eye off where you put each step, who’s got the rope, how sturdy is the piton.
coming down is not a cake walk. It is a walk in another direction. So many other factors to consider and pay attention to, without the call of the peak pulling you up.
Life has peaks and valleys — going up or down, we learn the real stuff, the hard stuff, the true stuff about who we are.
Your post totally inspired and awed me! Your self-awareness gained as you climbed the peaks and valleys is fabulous!
Whoo HOoo! perhaps you’re not on a descent, but an ascent into the stunning view that comes when you summit the things that have held you back from falling truly, madly, deeply in Love with you!
My dear Louise, all of the comments that I receive touch my heart. Every single one of them. But, every now and then, a comment comes along that just blows me away and moves me so very deeply. This comment of yours has done that to me on this day. Thank you so very much for relating, for sharing, and for taking the time to inspire me. It is in moments like this that I am so very grateful for this crazy, beautiful blogging community. And I am ever thankful for your place in this blogging world, and in the world in general, where you spread light and love and hope so openly and freely. You, and your writing, and I am certain your day-to-day living make such a difference. Much love to you.
I think the reciprocity of reading/commenting/blogging/sharing is a gift that feeds my heart and stirs my spirit — you do that always.
Give yourself some grace, just like you give it to others! I’m am going to wager that putting on paper (electronic file) this blog post already helped you discern where you are and what your next step needs to be.
Oh, how right you are Barb! You understand that about me so well. Yes, getting it out is very cathartic and healing.
[…] “what i always seem to forget is that, after the mountaintop experience, we always find ourselves in …“ […]
Thank you for your inspiration, Liz <3
I am so touched that you found it inspiring – and that you quoted/linked to me in your blog! I love reading about your journey… you are an amazing woman. xoxo
Beautiful post. Just beautiful. And yes, though I live in a part of the world that doesn’t change much, seasons-wise – we’re really between the Spring and Autumn sides of the planet, even with that, I’ve felt enormous shifts happening within me, just in the past week or so. It’s huge! Thanks for sharing so deeply.
Hello, sweet lady! So good to hear form you. I often wonder how it would be to live in a place where you don’t see as obviously the changing of the seasons. I live by them so much, because I have always had them. But, I suppose, for those who are in touch with their own souls, the shifts and changes and cycles show up naturally in life. Thank you so much for sharing that with me – and for letting me know that there are others out there shifting and bouncing about too. xoxo
It is Your time, in adaptation and finding new ground in a new place… sometimes it takes a long time to bed in, despite knowing it’s exactly what you want and where you want to be.
And in that time, limbo can feel horrid sometimes!
You are so right. I am trying to be patient and motivated at the same time. I know that it is a process, I truly know it and trust it; and yet, I still have a tough time letting the process be. In the meantime, you as a reader, get to be my sounding board! Thank you for reading nand commenting and just being there. 🙂
I believe I’m a pretty self-aware person, but I’m always inspired in reading your posts to see how MUCH you are able to know yourself and be intentional about all the internal and external processes going on in your life. Getting to witness your own self-reflection helps me to better think about my own life, even though we all have different circumstances. I wish you all the best as you work your way through this valley and come out on the other side even more solidly you!
Thank you, Carissa. I certainly am glad that all of my processing “out loud” is a positive thing for you. I definitely get the most self-reflection done when I write. xoxo
Good and healing thoughts to you.
Thank you so much, dear Kate. I receive them and feel their warmth. xo