Sunday, September 5, 2010

to the edge and back

So I've been on quite a journey recently. It's been filled to-the-brim with fear, exhaustion, sleeplessness, feeling overwhelmed, anger, misunderstanding, panic, love, the search for the meaning of life, navel gazing, and generally a whole lot of emotional upheaval.

I've tried to manage this sensibly. I've seen a doctor, a naturopath, and a therapist. I've spoken to my amazing husband night after night after night. I've spoken to kind people and I've been to the beach. I've walked the dog and been to a movie. I have loved my children and kept our Homeschool Land solid and kept my family close. I have taken care of myself.

But I've also felt like I might not figure it out, that perhaps this time, I might just get swallowed whole.

I had to make a choice. A big one. And I couldn't make it.

If I tried to choose one path, I felt devastated. If I tried the other, I felt overwhelmed with panic. I teetered for days between one path and the other. Pros and cons were listed; I lay awake for hours at night.

Because this decision felt and became bigger than the choices themselves. It brought up my past (busted it clear out of its forgotten room), affected my future (filling it with "what ifs"—those nasty mental gremlins), and picked my present to pieces.

I became a bit of a basket case, I have to admit.

The choices themselves weren't necessarily sad or terrifying. They just were, to me. They were actually good, perfectly lovely choices, each in their own way. They were Fine vs Fine. Valid vs Valid. Line them side by side and they look even, choices. My head felt like it might just explode.

This whole thing has been really, really hard. But now I'm thinking, sometimes you have to get pushed right up to the edge of something, if it's deep and if it's difficult, to know where you are. To really understand what makes you tick and what is truest for you.

Because today I finally made a decision. I decided to surrender to it, and say, Yes, I will follow this path, even if it's complicated and it's scary. And I stood at the very edge of my choice, just about to commit to it, no going back…

And my entire body silently screamed, NO. No, no, no, no, absolutely not, no.

My husband said afterwards, "I felt the energy coming from you. If you'd asked me to go ahead and choose (that path) for you, I wouldn't have been able to do it."

Suddenly, I had the answer. By choosing the wrong answer (for me) and going right up to it, like a parachutist going to the door of the plane, I figured out what path I needed to take.

Thankfully, I didn't have someone pushing me from behind. That would have royally sucked!

The thing is, I would have survived the other choice, the path I have now decided not to follow, because it wasn't going to kill me. It was a fine path. Nice view, truly lovely company, beautiful adventure.

But it wasn't my path.

And having made my decision (which no longer feels devastating), I feel like this:

Flock Of Birds

Which is me, in the moment

that I followed my heart.


  1. Well, I don't know what you are talking about specifically, but I've been there before and I'm glad you are feeling better.

  2. Thinking of you Helena, and wishing you well


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.