This is part five, the last part in fact, of an exploration into how I navigated a recent difficult period. The first in this series is, Distorted Nostalgia.
Dream: Walking a path underground that I usually walk above ground. I get lost at some point. So I come up but nothing is familiar. So I retreat underground trying different options. I think I run into this man who I am sure is not to be trusted.
I begin thinking about the beginning of this disease (CFIDS) and the kind of stress I was under at that time. And although I am not under anything close to that level of stress, it feels/felt like it.
My dreams point to my walking in the dark of the unconscious where I normally am aware and conscious. And thus when I finally come up – I am lost. And being in unfamiliar ground, I retreat into the unconscious.
So where am I, really. I hastily write out a list of all that is on my plate. As I survey the list, I notice two things. First, no wonder I feel so stressed. And secondly, it is all doable. I note the conflict between these two views.
“Who is that? Doable based on what? How do you get the idea that I can do all of this?”
“I just know … we, I mean , I can pull this off … if …”
If what? Nothing else explodes? Nothing else happens unexpectedly? No surprises? No disasters? What?
… if we, I mean I just do it …”
Just do what?
It ... y’know .. get to work …
That m’dear is a lie! It is not going to happen. I cannot just get to work! I am working as hard as I can already. I cannot just work even harder!
Why not? It is what we, I always do!
Yeah, but at what cost?
Then, then … I will have to let something go … so smarty pants, what do I let go?
Oh, this is painful! I do not want to let anything go.
So we are at an impasse then?
No. We are in the midst of a dilemma. We have a lot (some would say too much) on our plate. But we truthfully cannot bear to drop any of it. So we have a dilemma. What this calls for is creativity, not hard work. We/I already work hard, and so more hard work may not be the answer.
Because of the cost yes, but also we will learn nothing from it. And learning is my/our prime motivator.
And at that moment, my entire internal chorus finally reached an agreement. I had found my way back to my passion. Learning something new was something all parts of myself were keen about. So I hastily wrote down some ideas on approaching this issue. None seemed to fill the bill. So I took a break for lunch. As I munched on romaine and grilled chicken, something caught my eye on my list of projects. And then another item caught my eye, then another. I picked up my pen and some scratch paper … at the end I had a new view. I had laid out the original list into groups. Some had relationships between them which I noted by connecting lines and some had a natural hierarchy. By the time I finished, I suddenly understood the big picture in a way I hadn’t before. And I discovered something surprising!
Apparently, it was all doable. But what was required was not more hard work. What I needed, most of all, was space. I needed more air. I was too close to the work.
An air person needed more air. Aha! I was underground where I should have been above ground. I began laughing out loud. I was in my shadow element, I was ensconced in earth. Not the healthy earth of a balanced earth person, but the shadowy earth of an air person.
I breathed a deep sigh of relief. Who would of thunk it? Air!
Two weeks later …
I am still under a lot of stress, but it all seems lighter somehow. Like before, I am getting a lot done and some days are harder than others. But I am not burning my self out nor escaping into ice cream – my drug of choice. I am sleeping better and taking plenty of breaks.
It still cracks me up, that all I needed was some perspective. I needed to spread my wings, lift off and gaze at it all from thirty thousand feet.
Blessings from a Bateleur Eagle,