Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath oh Fresh Air

Right Now

on August 25, 2015

2015-06-17 09.22.23 There are two sides to every story: the head’s and the heart’s.

Sometimes, in order to try and make ourselves okay with a situation, we skip to the end of our story too quickly. In these instances, our head hides our heart and our (version of) rationality takes over. This is self-defense, and acceptable (encouraged even) when we just need more time before we are really ready to face facts. But other times, we are so deep in our reasoning that we start to believe our own bullshit. Our ego’s parade proudly and we feel strong and satisfied with our resolve. Meanwhile, our heart stays silent on the subject (for what we think is her own good).

Reaching to rationality is an all too natural reaction for me in times of crisis. It makes me GREAT when it’s someone else’s situation because I can move emotion out of the way and get things done. But when it’s my own, this distraction dances dangerously with denial, and I slip into a silent fight against myself and my world about something I can’t change or control. I force acceptance, because I know that’s how my story has to end for me to move forward and be back at (my stubborn) happy.

But forcing a door to close leaves gaps; it never sits in the frame quite right. And as we know, through those gaps creeps fear, and fear breeds irrationality and isolation. In my head, this leads to an illusion that my perspective, my position, is one of strength; I truly believe that I am totally fine… until my brave breaks and my silent heart starts to spills out. It is then that I realize my head has been telling my story solo, and that I haven’t told my whole truth.

So here goes.

I have been telling some parts of a story all summer. But I cut out the part that was painful, that I deemed unproductive. Long to short, I spent six-ish weeks this summer believing I had something called Follicular Lymphoma (because the Mayo Clinic said I did). As it turned out – I DIDN’T.

I thought I was writing about how I was feeling during all this – but in retrospect I realize it was mostly my head writing about how I wanted to feel (or wanted the world to think I felt).

Let’s be real here – being told that you are sick, with a “good this” or any that, is going to change ([you])r thinking. Independent of recovery, there is going to be a reaction and then a response; we either come out deflated or determined, or bounce between both. Either or, in time, hopefully we end up at inspired.

My reaction was (of course) to be very, very rational – but my real response was avoidance disguised as determination. I told myself I was staying present by not considering what was next, only what was happening; but in retrospect I don’t think being present means not thinking about things. Being present is more about acknowledging what is in your here and now; what is in your head and your heart. We don’t need to dwell on the unknowns and uncertainty, but we do need to navigate through our necessary (and some negative) emotion in that right now. Dealing with the present doesn’t discriminate; but in my case, I did.

My real truth ([all] those things I never said) was that I was scared.  Life suddenly seemed to live fast, and (in my extreme) I was afraid that I would lose (had lost) my chance at leaving a legacy.

So in my “rational” state, naturally next was a self-assessment. Of course, I jumped right into my deep end with the “if I died tomorrow would I be satisfied” question. But because of my fear, I couldn’t see any of my progress, or any of my good. It became all or nothing, and suddenly nothing I did or was doing was satisfying. I didn’t have the resources to live like I was dying (who does?!?), and in my crazed state of mind this made me feel like a prisoner. I stopped seeing satisfaction; I only saw stops.

In my mind(fuck), I fixated on what was far away instead of on my foundation. I panicked, and tried to catch every star in my sky at the same time. All I could do was react; responding required more than I could reach. I was far from my present; I was in a state of self-punishing.

Finally, enough time passed and my heart broke out of her slumber. I wasn’t sick, and I needed to find a way to draw from this experience instead of being deflated by it. A kick in the ass to remind us that time flies exists to inspire, and that’s what my head and heart needed to find.

So, after 25 or so drafts of this entry, I finally figured out what this was going to mean for me, and what I wanted to say – from my heart (to my head!) and to (your) all:

My life is part of something bigger than I am, so much so that maybe I can’t dream my whole dream just yet. My road will (continue to) be long and winding (and at times even under construction). In these twists and turns is where my lessons will be learned. But I will (try to) trust that all my walking and wandering will eventually lead to my legacy. I am (more than) alright; and still right where I am supposed to be, even when I am (or feel) lost. It’s all part of my whole story, and my (inspired!) happily ever after.

NOT The End.

Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aTYp8-O96M

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