I’ve noticed that when I am a little quieter on the social media front, it’s usually either because I’m going through a bit of a lull or challenging period or because I’m wholeheartedly content with life. This time around, it’s the latter.
In both cases, my step back from digital life is a retreat—to turn inward, to take stock, to marinate in it all, to let the lessons come forth in their own timing and not a second sooner.
I remember a time not long ago (we’re talking 6-7 months) where I wanted nothing more than to fast forward. To speed through the days and nights and just get to the other side already.
But I also knew (begrudgingly) that moving slowly through my perceived problems was what would make the “other side” so sweet. That skipping over it all wouldn’t make me the better person I was to become. That if I could learn to be slow through pain, I could learn to be slow through the inevitable joy that was to come again.
Pain of any kind is uncomfortable. Anger, frustration, annoyance, grief, fear, shame, all “negative” emotions we are programmed to want to avoid. But avoiding them means we never learn how to experience them in healthy ways. We never learn how to accept ourselves, much less anyone else, in that state of mind. Noticing the feelings, giving them a name, inviting them to be here, breathing and moving slowly to understand them is what ultimately releases them, leaving you with a new found tolerance and resilience for the next time life throws you a curveball (or the next one-minute chair pose in yoga class). The longer we can stay in discomfort, the larger our comfort zone becomes. The longer we can stay in the present, whatever our situation may be, the longer we can experience true peace, joy, and freedom.
I didn’t need to know when or how or what would bring me out of the dark. I just knew I’d get there, and not by seeking any external solution but by healing my relationship to myself. By loving her unconditionally. By having my own back. I knew it wouldn’t be a light switch that suddenly turns on but a slow reverse dimming, a sunrise ascending, and one day I’d just look all around me and wish time would stand still. Knowing that by learning to stay present with my pain, I’d be able to stay present when all I’d been working to create started to unfold.
Which brings me to right now. Taking it all in. Grateful beyond measure. Unfolding. Being, slowly.
Because I know time must keep moving, and change must come, and with it more challenge and more joy. More failures to be sure, and more progress as a result. My dreams will keep evolving and unfolding, but I can wait. I am in no rush, remembering that right where I am now was also once but a dream.