“Ugh.” Actually my reaction was a bit stronger, in the vicinity of “Excrement!” And I will play the drama card here. Yes, most definitely I will because I have looked for this answer forever.
And there the answer was, as if the trusty hand of the universe peeled back a curtain from a dusty window (and, given the current state of my living room, a dusty window on an even dustier window)!
A person goes through life, living, breathing and in my case, trying desperately to not make mountains of those molehills. Better stated, a person just tries hard to live. If lucky enough, that person tries to live well, enjoy the short time, add some meaning, and leave life perhaps making the place better for the next generation.
But I have had ‘ah-ha’ moments which knock me off my feet emotionally, psychologically and physically. Of course, such moments come at the most impractical times as if they were just waiting to pounce behind a corner.
Months ago I realized I not only needed to take better care of myself but I needed to take care of myself. Period. Underline. After years of shuffling with the topic, I needed to walk the walk. Caring for family members caused a reflection into my own care.
I started chipping at the mountains of self-care resources. once in awhile I would invest time and resources into a plan to better my health. Sometimes I would customize them. Sometimes I would fail.
Along the way I learned to eat, sleep and move. On that self-care path a person starts to read not only the physical aspects of health but the components of total health such as emotion and psychology.
I wondered why. “Laziness.” I think that is a fair partial assessment but I still sought answers.
A male friend was talking with me. Okay, at the time I felt as though he was talking at me rather than conversing with me. My eyes glazed over as his speech bombarded my senses. Not surprising were his insinuations of my intellect.
I did not react nor did I fight. I finally drew my nerves to myself. Internally I decided to leave. In the seconds between awareness of that decision and actually standing to leave I realized I had been given an answer.
The Ugh Moment.
I stood, staring at him. I allowed myself a pause which was borderline rude. I smiled saying, “I need to get going.”
In the months I had been reading I had also been practicing the timeless wisdom of giving myself what I had always needed from a partner. Truthfully I did not even know what those qualities would be but I practiced.
From the simplest to the complex, even without understanding, I would look to myself. Comfort? Figure it out, Steph. Companionship? Figure it out. Manage it, Steph. Grace and ease of situations? Manage it, Steph.
Months passed. I just lived, worked, took care of what I needed to do, messed up (aka learned!) and repeated.
In this recent conversation, I realized what giving to myself had done. I stood to walk away with the quality I had been looking for in a mate but had never recognized. The ‘Ugh’ moment of realizing the self-help dribble had not been dribble at all.
I had an answer I had long ago given up on ever finding.
Not saying I will ever find the embodiment of this particular answer, but at least I know the answer. I know the quality I would look for, unconsciously hope for, in a mate.
My being, my lucidity, is pulverized by the self-help notion to give myself what I needed. All those self-care habits had little to do with this quality. In fact, the ‘quality’ of which I wrote is a ‘quality’ not a method nor a tactile characteristic.
As he kept talking, I grew saddened at his address to me. The sentence had seeming no awareness by him of impact. Even worse I truly believe he wished the impact because the tone wrapped through his speech, the repetition looking for an emotional opening.
But I have already traveled that path with him.
As I drove away I decided to pause in my errands. I had had a revelation in which I could share with no one. Really now, who cares? I am less than a month from fifty-seven. A piece of my search in life really did come to roost upon myself.
I sat in the Jeep staring in the distance. I cried. All these years and all these efforts amounted to the same search for this one quality.
And I decided to give it to myself. While that sounds a tad bit perverse, let your mind wander, dear reader. (Wandering minds are good minds..)
In these days since that talk, I have treated myself to a bit of self-imposed confusion. I had a revelation which tore away some of the unnecessary psyche baggage. It was borne of the most mundane, gut-wrenching talks. A third person might not have even noticed the ‘ah-ha’ in my eyes.
I should have been confused.
But there has been no mistaking the impact. It’s rather like the chunks of concrete between the segments of my life clicked together. I have clear, paved paths between the parts.
Is that even possible? Can one quality make so much difference? Can its absence? Oddly enough, the source of my need is clear to me. I understand why I would look for the quality.
I tip my hat to the persistence of self-help and self-care professionals. Those blasted little mind tricks work. Or better stated, those life techniques should be respected. As I focused upon little steps, that big step came.
I will stumble with this newly, deliberately placed quality in my fifty-seven year old life. And while nothing makes me tick more than questions, I have found the gift of one answered life question.
Oh, how I wish the same for you all.
May you find a spot in life where you can roll around with your questions. Remember I will be there too, in spirit, routing for your answers!
All my love, s.