This month marks one year since I was faced with what felt like a life-altering decision last January. The details of that decision are insignificant for the purposes of a blog post; however, it’s safe to say this decision brought me to my knees at the time it was being made.
Given the one year anniversary of decisiongate, shall we call it, it felt like time to reflect:
It all started in December of 2011 – I was in London at the time. To say I was merely conflicted would have been an understatement; moreover, I felt at a loss for anyone who could truly understand what I was going through. In my search for my own answers, I was keeping in regular touch with friends who could mirror me back to myself. A result of my constant contact in a time of unrest is that I now refer to one of those mirrors as a best friend (hey, anyone who can stay on the phone with a rather hysterical me for essentially two months, with a few breaks for napping and snacks, deserves that title.)
At the time of decisiongate, I was engaging in a daily practice called “The Morning Pages.” “The Morning Pages,” created by The Artist’s Way author Julia Cameron, is an exercise in which the participant is asked to wake up every morning, put a pen to paper, and write continuously on three pages (front and back) until those pages run out. The point of the pages, among other things, is to remove blocks to one’s inherent creativity. The pages are to be written every single day, essentially until the end of time. In my case, they were done every day for nearly three years, and now on an as-needed basis. Every morning from early 2010 to mid 2012, I wrote down every fragment of a thought that went though my head in the first half hour I was awake (I did most of this writing on my computer, so how I still have any room on my hard drive is a miracle…)
About six months after decisiongate, hindsight was 20/20. What felt like an impossible choice was now a clear decision – now that I’d already made it. So, in my curiosity, I went back to read my morning pages from the time of my crisis. I was shocked when I read them and realized this:
I was completely lucid the entire time.
No, I did not find the ramblings of a mind trapped between two separate yet equal options. As I read my past writing, I saw I’d actually known exactly what I wanted, and how I wanted it. I was amazed that, no, I was never really torn: I was just terrified.
That incident taught me a lot about listening to my inner voice. I now notice that the time between an inner or outer conflict arising and me knowing instinctively what to do is continuing to get shorter and shorter. My gut reaction is far easier to go with. In my relationship with myself, I’ve gained more of the most important ingredient in any relationship: trust.
I also learned this:
Our truths cannot be avoided. Or rather, they can be, but they will still remain until we honor them. When what we know in our hearts to be true for us is abhorrently inconvenient, it can lead to denial (which in my case took a solid, and hellish, two months, to wear off.)
In my experience, even with all we do have control over in this world, we, ourselves, are non-negotiable.
Well … I mean … at least for me, that’s true.