Sit with it.
I am sitting on the front stoop of my little Hobbit House overlooking the potted flowers, abandoned robins’ nest, shaded parking lot, and the tiny green space (home to a warren of hungry rabbits) The burned out shell of a home sits just beyond the green. Soon after last Wednesday night’s fire, the rebuilding began.
Sit with it.
Most of my life, any success I’ve had has been attributable – in part – to a by-god-I’ll-do-this-thing-somehow tenacity. Acceptance was dangerous; all-consuming by darkness or resignation that afforded little air, life, or hope. Acceptance or “sitting with it” was more like acquiescence- like sitting up with the dead before final internment.
Acceptance was acknowledging that “I am powerless” to make it better.
Tenacity was solving it, pressing on, and just do it! Tenacity is inherently hopeful. This strategy worked for my curious 5-year-old-like sense of the weary and wonderful world.
It is not working in this season, however.
As much as I try to solve, discern, cook up, motivate, and scrabble towards purpose, it has remained elusive, indiscernible…almost mocking.
Last August I understood this more than I have lived out today. “I told the truth.
And asked only for a means to start my life anew…not over, because once the river is damned it never flows the same.”
And yet, all I’ve done since that day is try to swim up a river that is no more.
“I just want my effing brain back!” after stumbling to find a simple word or name of a sweet familiar face. That fog. That effing fog.
(even as I write this, tears well up and make it impossible to see or write)
Sit with it.
I met Leah O. while we all lived in Purpleville a few years back. Leah has moved on and met then married a magnificent man…and then moved again to “paradise.” She is exploring and living well, while wrestling with missing the familiar and facing the facts of imperfection (i.e. life).
This week, she wrote, “The more I tried to change how I was feeling, the worse it got…I get caught up in wanting to make myself better.”
“But until I know where I am and accept it, there is no moving forward…It has taken 8 hours of just sitting with it, accepting being upset, to understand what caused it (a distress) in the first place.”
Stillness as necessary life work? Hmmm.
“All this has led to a little self-love time. Today, I am letting go of my pant size and accepting my body. I’m letting go of this idea that I have to be unaffectedly happy that I’m living in paradise and accept that I’m aching for the love of my friends and family thousands of miles away. I’m letting go of the expectation to be adjusted and acclimated to my new home in 6 weeks…”
Letting go of expectation of time and outcome? Acceptable resting?
“These moments of vulnerability and acceptance are not our weaknesses. They are places of examination, realization, and growth. Without them, we are disconnected from our humanity.
With love and gratitude.”
Be still and know.
Sit with it.
As I breathe in the wisdom of the old and the new, I must accept that sitting with it may reveal that I am not as strong or smart as I’d hoped.
That the earlier tenacity and successes were just a means to survive and then take care of my family – a temporary gift and not a defining trait.
That this day, this season will be built on something new and yet known.
That the uncertainty will not kill me, but the striving to save what has already drowned will.
So I will sit with it
and allow my 5-year-old-like sense to take over
while winging down the whirling slide at the pool,
turning rocks over to hold their warmth in my hand,
looking for toads in the drain pipes,
while I wait and listen.
I will learn and commit to doing something that I AM TERRIBLE at doing in this challenge of “accepting”. I will try to sit with it knowing that this is no panacea, but a means to the next step of grace in an uncertain way-finding.
Perhaps out of this dark dense forest of still-not-knowing will emerge a trail and good company with whom to travel.
So this is your invitation:
Come sit with me as I search for the North Star.