The other day a woman gave me to me several justifications in a row why she felt "blocked" from writing. Each time I responded, "Writers write, that's what we do." I felt like I was having a conversation with myself. Ultimately she said to me, "Thank you - you are so inspiring." She might have been inspired, but I was no less inspired. I've felt just as blocked, stagnant and lacking the desire to create as she. Meanwhile - I also believe many times sitting down and writing is an act of choice rather than inspiration.
I've also felt blocked in life for a few weeks. After talking with my TMI specialist she likened my description to the Hanged Man in a tarot deck and suggested I reflect on a Jungian analysis of what it might mean. I have done so and it is incredibly enlightening to consider both surrendering to my current life situation. It is powerful to consider what it means to allow the burdens of life to fall away and the alone time and stillness to offer what really matters. There is power inside -- and a complete and whole person developing.... and rather than freak out - sitting with the depth of who I am and allowing my intuition and KNOWING to come to fruition is a powerful way to trust.
Meanwhile - it is true that only a couple of months ago I said YES to the Universe. YES. I truly believe there is no coincidence that I expressed a willingness to let go of three beliefs and life patterns:
I let go of the idea that I'm a burden because I'm sick.
I let go of financial concerns and worries.
I let go of romantic fears or that I'm hard to love.
When we make big decisions like this the energy does kick up around us. I have felt the shift. It wasn't something I felt like talking about but it was a big change for me. Some of it was a relief and some of it was a tangible change. I actively sought out meaningful work. I expressed more joy and gratitude. But I also let some things slide. I'd start de-cluttering projects and let them sit creating a messy vibe all over my office. I'd do it again and again until every time I walk into my office I feel bogged down rather than uplifted. It is TIME to clean up my side of the street - energetically and literally. It is TIME to stop THINKING about what I want and just do it. Even putting my hands on items and donating and recycling will make me SEE the shift I've committed to.
And something else big happened. When I committed to not feeling like a burden - two significant people left my life. One was a romantic interest and one was someone I thought was a friend. It might not seem like a big deal - and some people might say, "Oh - they did you a favor." But I think maybe it stunned me a little. I was deeply surprised and a little saddened by how quickly people leave. The romantic interest left without saying goodbye or telling me why. She just stopped calling. I expected it, but it was after she saw me be sick I knew it changed how she thought of me. She never got to see me be funny, or loving, or any of my wonderful sides either... But being "abandoned" for being sick -- that was my wounded area. And that is the wound she touched when she just stopped calling and stopped coming around. It left a mark. I cherish that wounded area now by writing about it and shining a light into the darkness and recognizing that NOTHING is so wrong with me that I deserve to be abandoned for being sick. In fact, I'm very right for the right lover. We all are.
Another person left in a bigger and far more dramatic way. They were friends with me for several years before finding out I was sick. They had their own negative relationship with chronic illness because their father died when they were young and their brother had a a liver transplant. Because of this they often felt invisible and had negative associations with anyone who dealt with illness. When they found out I was sick they said, "I can't be your friend because you might die." I remember standing there and feeling my heart break - truly break. It was the very worst case scenario. Until then no one had ever voiced it out loud. I also remember saying, "I'm not dying any faster that you. You're going to die too you asshole." I also told them to go to their own therapist and deal with their shit because it wasn't my shit it was theirs.
And that was that. I cried and cried about it. But I carried on. I learned to live without their friendship. And I also dealt with my own anger towards them.
Later they apologized to me and I accepted the apology. They came back into my life and we began hanging out again. I never felt we were going to be close friends again, but I did think they wanted to establish a connection. For six years they met up with me for lunches or dinners, helped me pack my U-Haul when I moved, clean out my storage unit when it flooded, and told me about their sex life. For six years, we were never close, but I felt we had re-kindled a type of friendship.
At the spiritual retreat I saw them. Rather than being pleasant and cordial the way they usually were with me, they were angry. They behaved in a surly and sour manner. They said things to me that surprised me with their curtness. Finally- they sent me two e-mails explaining what a burden I was and how for years they had so much guilt about me. They had lived with an enormous sense of "putting up with me" while I had operated under the belief that we were simply OK. They showed up out of a false sense of duty and felt I was an albatross and I thought they had worked through the idea that sick people were frightening.
I really was this persons personal burden and I didn't even know it!! For years they suffered my company and my intrusions on their spiritual retreat was more than they could bear. I had no idea! If they had asked me not to go to the retreat, I would have found a different retreat. If they had let me know they didn't want to rekindle a connection, I would have stopped inviting her out when I visited.
It left me with a feeling of - "How could I be so blind?" and "People enjoy my company and I genuinely like theirs -- if they suffered so much around me why be a martyr?" Part of me felt incredulous. Part of me felt sad. And part of me felt victorious - like my proclamation that I'm not a burden actually worked.
And -- it also left me feeling a little raw. Like I can't trust that other people genuinely want to be around me. If I don't notice when people are faking their joy and friendship - how can I notice when I am a burden. But life is built on joy and gratitude and being seen and loving people for who they are.
All of this has been happening for me. Mostly internally. A little stagnant -- a little waiting -- a bit of loss, letting go of patterns, finding new joy, allowing, and TRUSTING. It is everything from this position. As I write I am positive that writing this is my way of both releasing and allowing.
Its my way of surrendering to the situations in my life. If you are ever waiting on an elevator and they are all going down and you want to go up, sometimes you just press the down button and wait a long wait -- knowing you can select the up button when you reach the ground. It's circuitous but it gets you to your destination eventually. Sometimes you have to go down to go up. I've felt blocked and upside down for a while -- but this is my path to a greater understanding and rejuvenation.