Tuesday, July 10, 2012

after the storm

it's been nearly two weeks since the derecho blew through.  for me it carried with it fifteen minutes of terror followed by a moment of profound gratitude and then ten days of misery.

we were without power in our home during the hottest week ever in our town.  it was unbearable.  i couldn't sleep well at all.  i was immobilized.  i was angry at the news and the power company and my local government for their inadequate response and for then calling it something else.  this was actually probably the worst part--the positive spin.  i hate a positive spin.  i live in the land of the positive spin.  i was angry with myself for being dependent on a system, for being left at the mercy of the powers that be.

my friend graciel sent me a message that helped me reframe my experience.  she mused that the lack of power immediately following me leaving the job that bled my personal power from me was not coincidental and she gracefully suggested (because she does all things with grace, that one) that the time arrived for me to examine the shift of power within myself.  this opened me up to the exploration of how much of my own power is dependent on others and do i really trust my personal brand of power?

i thought about this for a good long time.  (do you remember the last time you had a good long time?  if not, turn off your electricity:  instant good long time.)  i just kept coming up with anger and impatience and frustration and the incessant feeling that i was robbed.  i was robbed of a respectful ending to a job that i poured my soul into for nearly twenty years.  and then i was robbed of comfortable space and time to grieve it and experience closure because i was having to deal with this storm mess.  and then i was angry that everyone keeps asking "what's next?"  my internal response to this question is jesus, give a girl some room.  the question "what's next?" feels like pressure and fear and failure wrapped up in a little box with a bow.

and i'm not ready to open that gift yet.  i am afraid that i don't know what's next.  my biggest fear is that this will all be another one of my radical impulsive decisions (i'm famous for them) that ends up proving that i can't trust my intuition or the signs or my inner voice or my most valued friends or the universe or really anything or anyone in this world and that i am not special or talented enough to be anything but a bureaucrat for the rest of my life and who. do. i. think. i. am?

as you can imagine, this is all a bit overwhelming.  i had the thought that maybe i need to just be with the overwhelm instead of needing to "rest" from it.  so i made the choice to experience the overwhelm and the fear and the questions and the unknown. 

and then i put a positive spin on it.

what if "what's next" is so scary because it's something i could never imagine before?  something so brilliant and free and beautiful and powerful that it takes my breath away and i wake up each morning in awe of my own precious life?

what if i take the time and space to begin to imagine and define and formulate some answers and options and trust that they will arrive?

what if i actually consider those thoughts that keep popping up instead of immediately dismissing them as too big or too out-there?

what if i play with possibility and trust and risk and transformation?

and what does it mean that this guy followed me around all week?