PAUSE AND PLAY; A DANCE OF THE SEASONS
Just like that. It's been over three months since I logged into my website. Over three months since I wrote anything, responded to any messages, created. My creativity was forced into a corner in the chatter of my mind, giving room to everything and everyone that needed something for me. Grieving for itself. At first given permission to be paused while I tackled life, later replaced by a feeling of defeat.
Today, after contemplating to attempt making peace with it, I reluctantly approached it's corner. Imagine going into an abandoned house with spider-webbed and dusty furniture. One that once pulsated with life but no longer had a beat. One that needed resuscitating.
I reluctantly picked up a duster and stared at what's there waiting for me to tackle, inertia in full effect. I'd rather remain where I've been, motionless. Resistance is as thick as the dust on the furniture. I know I want to do it, but there's just as potent of a force pulling me in the other direction. Maybe even stronger for the mere fact that it was the one I've practiced recently.
One I've mastered.
I rolled up my sleeves.The first word was the hardest. Then subsequent phrases became easier and easier. I was slowly being kinder with myself.
While I pressed pause on blogging, life was busy unfolding and doing so in many unexpected paths. Throwing at me curve balls I stopped trying to guess which direction they would find fit to catapult from. Except the part where I had a baby. That one had been obvious and eagerly awaited for from the second the pregnancy test showed two lines. Understandably, I had dived into the full-time sacrificial joy that motherhood is. But you know, all the others surprises that life seems to be full of, those kept coming as well. Those that make you wonder "wow, someone thought I could deal with THAT too?"
So why have I been too hard on myself for?
I bet you have been through some pause phases yourselves. Broken up/separated and attempted to get back together with a partner. Succumb to the temptation of your favorite junk food after sticking to a diet then shyly considering a kale salad after binging on that and a serving of self-pity. Left a career path for a while and contemplated returning to it. Had to bail out on a dream because circumstances meant you couldn't nurture it at the time. Have a journal, a sewing machine, a musical instrument or a treadmill at the sight or thought of which evokes a feeling of shame?
Ever stood at a crossroad and asked yourselves,
"Where do I re-start? What makes me think I can do it now?
With the ditch button activated once, won't I do it again? I knew what it took to begin, do I have what it takes to begin this time around? Even if I did, would the universe trust in me again and still conspire to help or has it shifted the clouds to water someone else's, rewardingly greener grass?"
I recently made a new friend I communicated with regularly. Weeks had gone by without responding to her message when I noticed It was me who failed to keep the momentum. After I apologized and explained why I was less available she assured me that she understood. She texted me that she too had her plate full. She added, "I figured for right now we could really use a low-maintenance friendship, we will pick up right where we left off".
What a relief that was?! To be permitted to shift attention to where it was needed most and return without suffering guilt as punishment. Wouldn't it be nice if life sent us the same text? If it allowed picking up where we left off? (Brace yourselves for a cheesy moment here. I bet you saw one coming.)
Answer is, it does!
Every morning we open our eyes, thats life agreeing to let us pick up where we left it the moment we closed them. Truth is, life supports pause and replay, cycles and phases, more than it advocates for cessation, termination, conclusion. That's why seasons come and go, decay is used up to give rise to bloom. That's why whenever we say we have 'become', we are only continuing on to becoming something else.
Society on the other hand, has indoctrinated our brains to fear and therefore end up worshiping 'ends'. Expecting robotic level productivity and measurable output as a means to an end. Can't blame our brains! Conditioned to only contemplate things they can measure. Anything else is, well, unknown and therefore uncomfortable. Sometimes perceived as outright dangerous. We judge ourselves and each other only according to what we have tangibly completed, preferably to perfection. No wonder none of us are never really content. We never really arrive at that 'end' we so lustfully pursue. We fear we may never have something to show for it all, since targets have a habit of shifting and in today's world where 'busy' is celebrated, they seem to be everywhere we turn. Yet, life teaches us to only target 'now'. Now is the only moment carrying the promise of arrival.
So folks. Pick up your dusters and do so with a smile. Permit yourself to begin again by telling those rooms you had to forget about, "I'm back!". Enjoy the process of one phase unfolding, the journey of another becoming the precedent of yet the other one it becomes thereafter.