Staying in the Hall…
I feel like I have been staying with a lot of hard feelings for months now. I feel ready for things to change. I want to move forward, I am tired of staying. And even as I write that, I know that staying is likely what is going to happen. I really mind it a lot less than I used to. I really am kind of used to my life now, staying with my current situation and not trying to change it…
I actually found myself marveling at my new amazing staying powers just the other day…like when the hell did I learn to do this??? I am do’er and decider, a not-stayer. I leave. That is what I have always done. Leave the situation…leave the relationship. Leave. Leave. Leave.
An excellent self abandoner all in the vein of leaving.
And I will admit the hardest part of learning to stay is sitting with that very itchy rash of needing and wanting to leave. Exit the moment I find myself in where I want to do anything else but stay.
Seems to me that up until last November, I dealt with my life by leaving. Hard feelings. Hard emotions. Hard relationships. When the pain or really discomfort over pain, became too great, I just left. I exited the moment in some habitual way or manner that provided instantaneous relief. Now, it never really provided lasting relief…just momentary reprieve from the uncomfortability of the now.
Here is what I have learned in the past few months…staying blows. But, it really allows me to go deeper than I thought possible and get to a place where though I would like things to be other than how they are, I am really ok with the present moment. All that it encapsulates, all that it holds. All that is now. In a way that being a chronic leaver never could.
I have sat with some pretty hard shit these last few months. Sadness, heartbreak, despair, angst, anger, depression, loneliness, fear and none of it killed me or really even made me that uncomfortable. I mean there were moments, a few that were excruciating. But they passed because I allowed them to. I didn’t sit them down and nail them to my kitchen floor. I allowed them to just pass through my life and psyche and it really didn’t even take that long.
My sponsor has told me that I am in the hall. And I have felt it with every fiber of my being. In fact, I feel like I have been so long in the hall that I almost feel like I have forgotten what the sunny windowed rooms feel like. What it might feel like to pull a chair up next to a sunny, light filled window and get another view. I know the hallway time is coming to an end…and I know this because I kinda don’t want it to. My occupation of the hall, my own private haunting, brought with it a feeling of security and safety. Removed from the temperature changing rooms, light cutting through and darkness beckoning, I have been contained safely in the hall, my own personal cocoon in the maelstrom of middle aged rancor and loss. I spent some time in the fetal position and then graduated to a more bracing for impact position much like I remember practicing when I lived in Kansas and we had tornado drills.
But since November I have been freed to get up and roam about the hall. It is a lot wider than I previously thought…it is protective and capable of providing a feeling of safety. But one cannot exist in the hall forever…life is not meant to be lived encapsulated, no, it is meant to be felt, loved and lived with all the threats and perils of living out there in the world.
And I am preparing. I can feel it.
But my time in the hall has been fabulous really despite all my impatience and loathing. I have learned to stay. Be present for the metamorphosis of the hallway cocoon. And I emerge differently, in a new form that is altered from my before. I am different same. And while I cannot tell you what that really means, I can say that I feel like I sit lower in my soul in a good way…Like I inhabit myself in a more genuine way and manner. I care a little less what you think, and I care a great deal more what I think and that directly changes how I feel about pretty much everything.
I am so grateful I have learned to sit in the very boring, but safe hallway of my life. And I believe that I have learned that staying in the hall is always an option for me. It isn’t really the harbinger of long periods of boring self reflection. It is a time that I can go within to find and rekindle my connection with the divinity that exists in the still places of my heart and soul. Stillness brings staying and staying brings fundamental shifts in my perceptions of myself, you and life. Staying in the hall allowed time to connect with my heart. Allow it its grief. Instead of hurrying it along and curtailing its path. Staying brought about healing and that feels way better than leaving.